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Entered,  according  to  the  Act  of  Congress,  in  the  year  1850,  by 

in  the  Clerk's  Office  of  the  District  Court  of  the  United  States,  for  the 
Eastern  District  of  Pennsylvania. 

Stereotyped  by  J.  Pagan.  Printed  by  Smith  &  Peters. 





As  Ruth,  of  old,  wrought  in  her  kinsman's  field — 
From  the  uneven  stubble  patiently 
Gathering  the  corn  full  hands  had  lavish'd  free, 

Nor  paused  from  sun,  or  air,  her  brow  to  shield — 

So  I  have  gleaned,  where  others  boldly  reap: 
Their  sickles  flashing  through  the  ripen'd  grain, 
Their  voices  swelling  in  a  harvest  strain, 

Go  on  before  me  up  the  toilsome  steep. 

And  thus  I  bind  my  sheaf  at  even-tide 
For  thee,  my  more  than  mother!  and  I  come 
Bearing  my  burden  to  the  quiet  home 

Where  thou  didst  welcome  me,  a  timid  bride; 
Where  now  thy  blessed  presence,  day  by  day, 
Cheereth  me  onward  in  a  lonely  way. 





Sketch  the  First 9 

Sketch  the  Second 33 

Sketch  the  Third 59 

Sketch  the  Fourth , 79 

Sketch  the  Fifth 103 

Sketch  the  Sixth,  and  Last 130 


The  Portrait ;  or,  the  Wife's  Jealousy 161 

Trees  in  the  City 175 

The  New  England  Factory  Girl ;  a  Sketch  of  Everyday 

Life 177 

There 's  no  such  Word  as  Fail 220 

The  Story  of  the  Bell 222 

Voices  from  Flowers 228 

The  Sorrow  of  the  Rose 230 

A  Life  History: 

I.  The  Bride's  Confession 237 

II.  Old  Letters 239 

III.  A  Memory 241 

Ideal  Husbands ;  or,  School-Girl  Fancies 243 

The  Treasure  Ship 270 

Transplanted  Flowers 272 

Too  Late ! 289 

The  Young  Bride's  Trials 291 

Blind ! 319 

1*  W 











"  'T  is  an  accident  scarce  worth  repeating — 

(But  people,  you  know,  dear,  mil  talk !) 
How  is  it  you  always  are  meeting 

With  some  one  you  know,  when  you  walk  ?" 

Thank  Heaven,  they  are  not  censorious !  not  at  all  of  a  suspicious  turn 
of  mind,  not  in  the  least  disposed  to  be  rashly  credulous ;  but  everybody 
must  admit,  that  there  cannot  be  so  much  smoke,  without  some  flame. — 
Laman  Blanchard. 

T  was  very  evident  that  Mrs.  Harden  expected  com- 
pany that  afternoon.  Miss  Harriet  had  dusted  the 
parlours  herself.  Mrs.  Harden  had  been  observed 
to  give  particular  directions  about  cleaning  the  front 
hall,  the  bell  knob  and  door-plate  inclusive.  If 
proof  was  wanted  after  all  this  —  for  it  was  not  Saturday,  when 
people  are  expected  to  "raise  a  dust"  —  Hannah,  the  girl, 
had  said,  while  negotiating  the  loan  of  Mrs.  Miller's  patty-pans, 
"They  wanted  twelve  besides  their  own;  for  Miss  Harden 
expected  Miss  Folger  and  her  husband,  Miss  Utley  and  hern, 
with  all  the  children,  to  tea." 



"  And  children  generally  is  fond  of  cakes/'  added  Hannah ; 
an  axiom  which  Mrs.  Miller  —  who  was  the  fond  mother  of  five 
responsibilities  —  did  not  attempt  to  dispute. 

Two  o'clock  found  Miss  Harriet's  hair  released  from  curl 
papers;  Mrs.  Harden's  best  cap,  the  one  with  white  satin 
rosettes,  nicely  arranged;  and  the  two  ladies  descended  to  the 
parlour  to  wait  in  blank  expectation  the  arrival  of  their  visitors. 
Presently  a  rumble  of  wheels  caused  both  to  rush  at  once  to  the 
same  window,  to  the  threatened  demolition  of  a  carnation  pink, 
and  huge  horse-shoe  geranium  there  stationed. 

"That's  the  cab!"  said  Miss  Harriet. 

"  Well  I  declare !  so  it  is,"  echoed  mamma. 

"But  it  isn't  going  to  stop,  after  all." 

"No!    Well,  it's  too  bad." 

The  cab  was  going  to  stop,  however ;  the  driver  well  knew 
what  he  was  at,  and  with  a  grand  sweep  it  turned  a  little  above 
the  house,  and  drew  up  in  fine  style  to  the  curbstone. 

There  was  Mrs.  Folger.  all  smiles  and  exclamations,  with 
Bobby,  the  youngest  child,  in  her  arms ;  and  the  cabman  lifted 
Susan  and  Sarah  Ann,  the  twins,  out  after  her.  There  was  also 
a  huge  bundle  of  work,  and  a  covered  basket,  besides  a  shawl, 
lest  it  should  be  cold  in  the  evening,  and  Bobby  might  need  it. 
Here,  be  it  observed — par  parenthese —  that  the  less  ladies  sew 
at  home,  the  shorter  the  day ;  and  the  more  children  they  have 
to  look  after,  the  greater  the  package  of  work  they  take  when 
they  go  out  to  "spend  the  afternoon,"  in  Yankee  parlance. 
Mrs.  Harden  took  the  screaming  juvenile,  with  a  mighty  effort, 
from  its  mother,  and  ushered  maternity  into  the  parlour  with 
sundry  declarations  that — Mrs.  Folger  was  the  greatest  stranger 
she  knew  of — (they  did  not  see  each  other  more  than  three  times 


in  the  week;)  and  Harriet  seized  in  rapture  upon  the  twins, 
protesting,  as  she  undid  their  various  wrappers,  she  so  doated  on 
children  —  they  were  such  a  treat  at  their  house. 

Here  Mrs.  Folger  discovered  that  the  cab  had  stopped  at  Mrs. 
Miller's,  and  while  communicating  the  important  fact,  Mrs.  Mil- 
ler and  baby  ascended  the  steps,  and  away  drove  the  clattering 
little  vehicle. 

"Well!  if  Mrs.  Miller  don't  go  all  the  time!"  said  Mrs. 
Harden.  "  What  she  pays  that  man  for  cab-hire,  would  keep  a 
decent  family  in  lights,  the  year  round." 

Mrs.  Harden  had  very  limited  ideas  on  the  subject  of  illumi- 
nations generally  —  so  thought  Hannah,  and  so  hinted  her  hus- 
band; but  "economy,  after  all,  's  the  main  thing,"  as  she  so 
often  said. 

"  Would  Mrs.  Folger  sit  up  to  the  fire  ?  perhaps  her  feet  were 
damp?"  suggested  Miss  Harriet.  The  walking  was  shocking, 
to  be  sure,  and  their  visitor  discovered  that  the  toe  of  one  of  her 
slippers  was  quite  wet;  it  must  have  been  from  crossing  the 
pavement.  "  Perhaps  she  had  better  take  the  baby ;  he  was  apt 
to  be  troublesome."  Mrs.  Harden  could  not  think  of  giving  the 
dear  little  fellow  up  so  soon ;  she  had  not  held  him  more  than  a 
minute,  and,  as  Harriet  just  said,  children  were  such  a  treat  to 

Again,  a  rumble  close  to  the  pavement  announced  the  arrival 
of  the  "  carryall,"  and  while  Mrs.  Utley  and  sons  are  being  shown 
in,  a  word  on  cabs  in  general,  this  cab  in  particular.  Perhaps 
some  residents  of  the  Quaker  city  still  remember  the  hubbub 
among  news-boys  and  corner-loungers,  which  the  advent  of  cabs 
created.  We  have  heard  a  description  of  the  first  ride  which  was 
daringly  taken  by  two  gentlemen  friends,  from  the  Exchange  to 


Fairmount.  Stones  were  thrown  —  groans,  hisses  and  derisive 
cheers  followed  their  course  —  and  happy  were  they  at  last  to 
escape  these  demonstrations  of  the  public's  affectionate  notice  and 
regard.  Scarcely  less  was  the  excitement,  though  it  was  of  a 
different  nature — when  these  most  convenient  vehicles  made  their 
first  appearance  in  Rivertown. 

Nobody  had  heard  the  thing  proposed,  when  all  at  once  Smith 
&  Miller,  of  the  great  livery  stable,  came  out  with  three  of  the 
neatest  little  affairs  that  ever  were  seen,  and  they  became  the 
rage  directly.  So  cheap  !  one  could  ride  to  any  part  of  the  town 
for  sixpence !  Sixpences  no  longer  lingered  at  the  end  of  purses, 
the  bottom  of  pockets.  Young  ladies  now  dispensed  with  over- 
shoes, and  kid  slippers  were  sported  without  a  reproach  from 
careful  mammas  —  "  If  it  rains,  I  '11  send  a  cab  for  you.  I  've 
just  sent  around  for  one;  I'm  going  to  the  head  of  the  street;" 
so  the  young  lady  glanced  with  an  inconceivable  degree  of  satis- 
faction at  the  neatly  slippered  foot,  and  mamma  drove  off  to  do 
her  shopping.  But  an  ebb  came  to  the  tide  of  popularity.  Men 
of  business  found  they  could  walk  from  "  the  wharf  to  the  depot," 
almost  as  soon,  and  quite  as  cheaply,  as  they  could  ride ;  and 
housekeepers  could  not  afford  it,  while  the  help  broke  so  many 
tumblers.  Young  ladies,  aroused  to  arithmetical  calculation, 
suddenly  discovered  that  four  sixpences  made  a  quarter  of  a 
dollar,  which  would  go  some  way  towards  the  purchase  of  a  new 
neck-ribbon.  So,  from  being  constantly  in  demand — a  passenger 
became  a  rara  avis,  and  at  last  two  of  the  three  were  laid  by, 
and  "the  solitary  survivor"  was  employed  mainly,  as  we  have 
seen,  in  conveying  married  ladies  and  their  little  ones,  "  out  to 
spend  the  afternoon;"  bringing  Mrs.  Folger  and  the  children 
up  street  on  a  visit — Mrs.  Miller  down,  when  it  returned, — and 


again  rolling  northward  with  Mrs.  Utley.  See  you  not  our 
moral,  most  philosophical  reader?  Public  patronage  is  not  a 
whit  more  stable  now  than  when  the  populace  in  olden  times 
shouted  one  day  for  their  king  —  the  next  for  his  murderer  and 

But  to  return  to  Mrs.  Harden' s  parlour,  which  was  so  uncere- 
moniously deserted.  Mrs.  Utley  is  by  this  time  quite  at  home 
there — Bobby's  mother  is  nicely  warmed,  and  Bobby  himself  has 
gone  tranquilly  to  sleep.  Misses  Susan  and  Sarah  Ann  are 
charitably  furnishing  employment  for  the  man  who  tunes  Miss 
Harriet's  piano.  Henry  Utley  is  devoted  to  the  kitten,  and  his 
baby  brother  sits  on  his  mother's  lap,  resisting  all  Miss  Harriet's 
entreaties  to  "Come,  there's  a  darling"  with  slight  kicks,  and 
the  exclamations  "No,  I  wont — keep  away  I" 

The  ladies'  knitting-work  saw  the  light,  and  their  tongues 
found  motion,  as  a  kind  of  running  accompaniment  to  the  sharp 
click  which  rose  industriously  above  the  din  of  the  children. 

Mrs.  Folger  thought  it  was  a  very  open  winter,  and  she 
"  should  n't  be  surprised  if  the  river  broke  up  next  week." 

Mrs.  Utley  was  afraid  not;  her  husband  had  said,  at  dinner, 
that  they  crossed  with  teams  in  the  morning;  the  ice  must  be 
pretty  sound  yet.  Harriet  gave  brother  John's  opinion  that  the 
channel  would  not  be  clear  of  ice  before  the  first  of  April.  Miss 
Harriet,  be  it  observed,  was  one  of  those  people  who — perhaps 
it  is  that  their  words  are  often  doubted — always  give  the  best  of 
references ;  pa,  ma  or  John  being  made  responsible  for  innumer- 
able bits  of  gossip,  that  would  doubtless  have  astonished  these 
good  people,  had  they  reached  their  ears.  Innumerable  were  the 
topics  that  received  similar  treatment  —  not  to  be  hinted  at, 
the  many  important  secrets  communicated  with  the  preface  of 


"  Don't  mention  it  for  the  world,  from  me ! "  and  interrupted  by 
exclamations  of  "  Do  teU  !  "  "  No  ? "  and  the  like.  At  length 
there  was  silence — comparative  silence  that  is,  for  the  children 
were  as  industrious  as  ever.  Mrs.  Harden  stepped  out  a  minute 
to  tell  Hannah,  for  the  fortieth  time,  to  be  careful  of  the  china, 
and  as  the  door  closed  behind  her,  a  bright  face  passed  the  win- 
dow— and  lo,  another  theme. 

"If  there  isn't  Mary  Butler  again !  " — said  one  of  the  ladies, 
as  the  three  looked  after  her  retreating  form. 

"That  girl's  always  in  the  street!" 

"So  John  says!" 

But  horror  for  the  moment  suspended  speech,  and  raised  six 
hands  simultaneously. 

"Did  you  ever  see  the  like?" 

"She  called  him  back,  didn't  she?" 

"Yes,  he  had  got  to  Stone's  store." 

"  Well,  I  don't  wonder  he  looks  strange — just  to  see  her  shak- 
ing her  finger  at  him,  just  as  if  she  'd  known  him  all  her  life, 
and  to  my  certain  knowledge,  she  never  saw  him  before  Mrs. 
Jackson's  party ;  but  when  girls  are  in  the  street  all  the  time, 
what  can  be  expected  ?  "  Mrs.  Folger  drew  a  long  sigh,  and 
shook  her  head  ominously. 

Here  Mrs.  Harden  returned,  and  was  made  acquainted  with 
the  important  fact — all  the  witnesses  speaking  at  once  —  that 
Mary  Butler  was  going  up  street  (for  the  third  time  this  week, 
and  it's  only  Wednesday) — and  met  Mr.  Jorden  just  by  the 
bank.  He  bowed  very  coldly  (didn't  he  ?)  and  was  going  on, 
when  Mary  Butler  called  him  back,  and  they  stood  laughing  and 
talking  for  as  much  as  five  minutes  before  she  let  him  go.  Miss 
Harriet,  who  had  known  him  so  long — a  bowing  acquaintance, 


of  a  year's  standing — wouldn't  have  dreamed  of  doing  such  a 
tiling.  Her  mother  hoped  not — no,  certainly,  such  an  imprudent 
thing ! 

The  gentlemen  came  in  before  the  wonder  had  fairly  subsided, 
and  the  interesting  intelligence  was  duly  reported.  How  pro- 
voking Mr.  Folger  was !  He  could  not  see  anything  at  all  re- 
markable in  the  affair ;  perhaps  they  were  old  friends !  and  Mr. 
Harden  would  insist  that  Mary  Butler  had  an  undoubted  right  to 
go  up  street  as  often  as  she  chose.  But  men  are  always  so  queer 
— they  never  suspect !  There  was  more  going  on  than  some 
people  thought  for ;  the  ladies  all  agreed  they  should  hear  from 
that  quarter  again. 

And  so  they  did,  for  just  as  Hannah  called  them  to  tea,  Har- 
riet directed  their  attention  to  the  window,  with  many  a  silent 
sign  toward  that  corner  of  the  room  in  which  the  gentlemen  were 
discussing  the  projected  river  road ;  and  there  in  the  uncertain 
twilight  of  early  spring,  they  saw — just  as  sure  as  you  are  read- 
ing this  page — they  saw  Mary  Butler  going  down  street,  and  Mr. 
Jorden  walking  with  her !  Miss  Harriet  declared  it  was  very 
hard  to  see  why  some  people  were  so  much  in  the  street,  in  a 
manner  that  said  as  plainly  as  possible,  that  she  thought  it  ex- 
tremely lucid ;  and  added  that  "  she'd  like  to  have  brother  John 
see  her  walking  that  way  with  Mr.  Jorden,"  intimating  that  if 
he  did,  it  would  be  the-  last  time  she'd  get  out  that  winter ! 

Perhaps  it  is  worth  while  to  remark,  that  Mr.  Jorden  was  one 
of  the  eligibles  of  Rivertown,  and  Mary  Butler  was  a  poor  girl, 
with  no  income  save  that  earned  by  a  needle,  which  was  probably 
the  reason  why  it  was  so  very  improper,  in  the  eyes  of  Miss  Har- 
riet, for  her  to  be  more  than  a  speaking  acquaintance  to  the 
"  best  match  in  town."  Miss  Harriet,  by  the  way,  had  often 


been  made  happy  for  a  week  by  a  bow  from  him,  and  would  have 
given  her  new  gipsy-hat,  plume  and  all,  for  a  call  from  one  so 

Miss  Harden  just  slipped  in  half  a  minute  (i.  e.  half  an  hour) 
to  see  if  her  dear  friend  Adeline  Mitchell  was  still  alive  —  ex- 
pressing her  conclusion  as  she  fondly  embraced  her,  that  she 
must  not  only  be  dead,  but  comfortably  buried,  as  she  had  not 
peen  her  in  an  age,  two  days  at  least !  Where  had  she  kept  her- 

A  similar  response  from  the  lady  under  question,  ended  with 
the  declaration,  that  she  had  been  dying  to  see  Harriet  all  day, 
and  had  expected  her  every  moment.  Why  had  n't  she  been  in  ? 
—  had  she  heard  the  news? 

.  Miss  Harriet  had  heard  a  great  deal  in  the  last  twenty-four 
hours  —  she  acknowledged  that  she  had,  but  was  not  sure  that 
this  particular  piece  of  intelligence  was  included.  What  was  it 
about  ? 

"Mary  Butler  and  Mr.  Jorden" — 

Miss  Harriet  uttered  something  between  a  groan  and  a  sigh ; 
and  by  a  peculiar  motion  of  the  head  intimated  that  perhap,  she 
knew  more  about  it  than  her  friend. 

"Go  on!" 

"Well,  it's  all  over  town"  —  continued  Miss  Mitchell. 
"  Every  body 's  talking  about  it.  I  took  tea  at  Mrs.  Smith's  last 
night  —  (why  was  n't  you  there,  Harriet)  and  two  ladies  (I  won't 
mention  names)  said,  that  they  had  seen  her  out  in  the  evening 
with  him ;  though  Miss  Smith — you  know  they  live  right  oppo- 
site —  says  he  never  goes  into  the  house,  but  leaves  her  before 


they  get  to  the  hotel.  It  was  only  night  before  last  she  had  seen 
it  happen,  just  in  that  way." 

Miss  Harden  was  not  so  much  astonished  at  this  intelligence 
as  her  friend  intended,  and  evidently  expected  her  to  be ;  for 
with  a  low  and  impressive  whisper,  she  assured  the  speaker  that 
she  had  seen  it  with  her  own  eyes. 

''  No !  then  that 's  four  times  they  've  been  out  together.  Was 
there  ever  such  imprudence  ?  " 

Miss  Harriet  returned  home  in  the  course  of  an  hour,  during 
which  time  it  had  been  settled  between  the  fair  ladies,  that  Mary 
Butler  ought  to  be  ashamed  of  herself — that  some  one  who  knew 
her  ought  to  speak  to  her  about  it,  and  advise  her  as  a  friend  to 
cut  Mr.  Jorden  henceforth  and  forever.  Every  one  knew  how 
wild  he  'd  been !  Thank  Heaven,  she  was  not  among  the  list  of 
their  acquaintances.  Brother  John  had  said  her  name  was  brought 
up  at  the  whist  party  at  the  hotel  only  last  night;  and  when 
girls  were  discussed  by  a  lot  of  young  men  in  that  way,  there 
was  no  knowing  where  it  would  end :  they  should  die — positively 
they  would  never  hold  up  their  heads  again,  if  they  thought  their 
names  had  ever  been  thus  profaned. 


"  A  whisperer  separateth  chief  friends." 

"  Forgive  me  if  I  listened 

To  the  tales  which  they  have  breathed ; 
It  was  sorrow  more  than  anger — 
I  was  wrong,  my  friend,  deceived !" 

;ARY  BUTLER  tied  on  her  neat  little  hood, 
and  drew  the  thick  Highland  shawl  more  closely 
about  her  form.  It  was  a  happy  face  that  the 
little  mirror  reflected,  for  content  and  high  health 
spoke  plainly  in  every  feature,  and  in  the  soft  bloom  that  mantled 
the  dimpled  cheek.  And  had  she  not  reason  to  be  happy  ?  Since 
her  father's  death,  had  she  not  everywhere  found  kind  friends  ? 
What  good  was  there  in  dwelling  on  those  brighter  days — when 
she  need  not  have  touched  her  needle  unless  it  so  pleased  her — 
when  her  mother  was  mistress  of  a  luxurious  home,  in  her  far 
away  native  city  —  and  where  she,  the  darling,  the  light  of  the 
household,  was  petted  and  caressed  by  those  who  saw  in  the  beau- 
tiful child  but  the  future  heiress  of  a  proud  fortune  !  Could  dwell- 
ing on  these  careless  happy  days  recall  them  ?  Pshaw !  after  all, 
they  were  not  so  happy  —  so  she  reasoned  with  herself —  there 
were  ever  so  many  things  to  vex  them ;  only  one  was  then  her 
guide  whose  face  was  now  hidden — and  then  she  would  check  the 
tears  that  rose  with  that  dear  remembrance,  and  think  that  his 
care  still  smoothed  life's  pathway,  even  though  the  blessed  ministry 
was  unseen.  True,  her  mother  and  herself  were  now  almost 
entirely  dependent  on  their  own  industry  —  but  if  their  income 



was  small,  their  wants  were  few,  and  Mary  sang  like  a  bird,  "  as 
the  shining  needle  flew,"  while  her  mother  sat  by,  and  silently 
blessed  the  daughter  whose  devotion  and  constant  cheerfulness 
helped  her  to  bear  the  bitter  sorrow  that  sometimes  clouded  her 
pale  face  j  for  at  times  Mrs.  Butler  still  dwelt  upon  the  wealth 
and  position  that  had  made  her  youth  a  dream  of  delight,  and 
that  now  was  hers  only  in  remembrance.  She  sighed, — when  she 
fancied  that  her  fair  child  was  looked  coldly  upon — for  the  power 
that  should  of  right  have  been  hers ;  and  when  she  dwelt  on  the 
plain  neat  dress  which  Mary  ever  wore,  she  contrasted  it  with 
rich  fabrics  that  gave  added  beauty  to  her  own  early  loveliness, 
forgetting  that  Mary  had  a  charm  over  all  this — "  the  ornament 
of  a  meek  and  quiet  spirit." 

In  such  hours  of  despondency,  her  daughter's  musical  voice  and 
cheerful  smile  alone  could  restore  her  to  anything  like  hope. 
While  thus  fulfilling  a  sacred  duty,  how  could  Mary  be  sad,  or 
indulge  in  murmuring  regrets !  Besides,  she  had  of  late  a  new 
cause  for  happiness.  A  kind  friend,  who  had  been  their  guest  in 
affluence,  and  who  still  loved  them  for  themselves,  had  come  to 
reside  in  Bivertown,  and  had  opened  a  new  source  of  pleasure 
and  hope.  She  remembered  Mary's  early  talent  for  music,  and 
suggested  that  she  could  more  pleasantly  increase  her  income,  as 
a  music-teacher,  kindly  offering  her  own  piano  for  practice,  and 
her  services  as  instructor :  as  Mrs.  Jackson  was  an  accomplished 
pianist,  this  was  no  little  kindness.  This,  then,  was  the  secret 
of  her  daily  walk  past  the  window  of  Miss  Harriet,  for  Mrs. 
Jackson  resided  a  few  doors  above,  and  her  being  out  so  often 
ceases,  with  us  at  least,  to  be  a  wonder. 

"  A  quick  step  tells  of  a  light  heart,"  says  the  old  pr&verb ; 
then  surely  no  heart  could  have  been  lighter  than  Mary's  as  she 


commenced  her  walk ;  but  as  she  saw  a  group  of  young  friends 
coining  down  the  street,  she  slackened  her  pace  that  she  might 
have  a  little  chat  with  them.  What  was  her  astonishment  when 
they  passed  with  but  a  slight  nod,  leaving  her  to  pursue  her  walk 
alone !  "  It  could  not  be  intentional,"  was  her  second  thought, 
and,  quite  undisturbed,  she  went  on  as  gaily  as  before. 

How  strangely  every  one  acted  that  afternoon !  Her  friend 
Mrs.  Jackson  did  not  seem  at  all  happy  to  see  her ;  but  perhaps 
the  troubles  of  house-cleaning  had  clouded  her  temper,  and  the 
lesson  over,  Mary  was  once  more  in  the  street. 

All  at  once  her  face,  thoughtful  before,  was  lighted  with  a 
smile,  as  if  she  was  about  to  meet  some  pleasant  acquaintance ; 
but  her  cordial  greeting  received  a  very  distant  bow  in  return, 
and  Mr.  Jorden  "  passed  by  on  the  other  side."  It  cannot  be 
denied  that  her  heart  sank  within  her  as  she  once  more  entered 
her  home,  and  her  mother  missed  her  happy  song,  as  she  plied 
her  needle  in  a  sad  silence  through  the  whole  of  that  long  eve- 

Day  by  day  the  change  grew  more  marked.  One  friend  after 
another  looked  coldly  upon  her,  and  though  she  had  ever  before 
watched  with  impatience  the  hour  of  her  daily  walk,  she  now  al- 
most dreaded  to  enter  the  street,  lest  she  should  be  saddened  by 
cold  greetings  and  averted  faces.  Even  Mrs.  Jackson  was  strange 
in  manner,  and  gave  her  lessons  as  if  it  were  no  longer  a  pleasure, 
but  a  hurried,  disagreeable  task.  Suspense,  a  dread  of  some  evil, 
we  know  not  what — is  often  far  worse  than  the  evil  itself;  and 
it  was  with  a  desperate  resolve,  that  Mary  at  last  begged  Mrs. 
Jackson  to  tell  her  how  she  had  offended,  and  why  her  acquaint- 
ances were  friends  no  longer.  She  had  struggled  against  the 
depression  of  spirit  which  all  this  had  caused,  but  in  vain.  Her 


mother  had  noticed  the  listless  despondency  which  seemed  creep- 
ing over  her,  and  she,  too,  had  wept  in  solitude;  not  at  the 
strange  rumours  that  were  circulating  through  Bivertown  —  for 
fortunately  none  had  reached  her  ears,  but  she  feared  that  con- 
stant exertion  was  wearing  upon  the  health  of  her  darling,  and 
had  dimmed  the  bright  eye,  and  paled  the  rose-tint  of  her  cheek. 

Mary's  sorrow  was  not  lessened,  when  her  friend  bade  her  ask 
her  own  heart,  if  trust  once  betrayed  should  ever  again  be  tried. 
But  the  tears  of  the  young  girl  and  her  protestations  of  innocence 
at  length  convinced  Mrs.  Jackson  that  a  guilty  soul  could  not  be 
looking  from  those  pure  eyes,  and  she  drew  the  poor  girl  to  her 
heart,  and  told  her  of  the  slanderous  whispers  that  had  little  by 
little  chilled  her  love  and  destroyed  her  confidence.  She  did  not 
dare  to  tell  her  all,  for  she  could  not  endure  to  sully  the  pure 
heart  trusting  her  faith  so  fully,  by  even  the  shadow  of  those 
baser  stories  that  had  grown  from  the  whispered  comments  upon 
her  girlish  vivacity;  but  Mary  instantly  felt  the  whole  truth, 
and  it  was  the  first  searing  of  her  affectionate  nature. 

God  forgive  those,  who,  however  indirectly,  cause  such  pangs 
as  came  to  her  heart  —  earthly  forbearance  fails  to  pardon  the 

"  Knowing  as  I  did  " — continued  her  friend,  "  that  you  were 
aware,  from  the  first,  of  my  sister's  engagement  to  Mr.  Jorden, 
I  wondered,  when  the  report  came  to  me,  that  you  encouraged 
his  attentions ;  I  was  told  that  you  were  seen, walking  with  him 
very  frequently ;  that  you  conversed  in  public  with  the  greatest 
familiarity.  Then  it  was  that  I  began  to  watch  every  movement 
of  you  both,  for  my  sister's  happiness  is  dear  to  me  as  my  own, 
and  I  knew  she  would  be  wretched  if  he  proved  false ;  and  for- 
give me,  Mary,  that  I  at  last  gave  credence  to  the  tales  that 


almost  daily  came  to  my  ears.  I  confess  they  did  much  to  blind 
me,  and  at  last,  I  fancied  that  I  had  discovered  in  him  an  undue 
interest  for  you.  I  mistook  sincere  and  brotherly  friendship  for 
affection,  and  upbraided  him  for  his  falsehood.  He  left  me  in 
anger,  indulging  bitter  feelings  toward  both  you  and  myself. 
Shortly  after  you  came  in,  for  the  first  time  I  received  you  coldly. 
Since  then  I  have  fancied  I  saw  a  change  in  your  manner  towards 
me ;  that  you  hurried  when  you  came  to  your  lesson,  as  if  anxious 
to  go  from  my  presence  as  soon  as  possible.  Poor  child !  how  I 
have  wronged  you!" 

There  was  a  slight  movement  in  the  little  sitting-room,  that 
adjoined  the  parlour,  and  the  door  which  had  been  ajar,  swung 
suddenly  shut.  Just  then  Mr.  Jorden  entered  the  room,  and 
Mrs.  Jackson,  still  with  her  arm  about  the  blushing  girl,  begged 
forgiveness  of  them  both.  There  was  a  hearty  cordiality  in  the 
warm  grasp  of  Mr.  Jorden's  hand,  and  Mrs  Jackson's  kiss  was 
more  affectionate  than  ever. 

For  the  first  time  in  many  weeks,  Mary  Butler's  heart  was  at 
rest ;  though,  now  and  then,  a  sad  recollection  came  to  disturb 
the  present  joyousness;  but  her  friends  had  promised  to  show 
the  little  world  of  Rivertown,  that  they  discountenanced  all  the 
reports  in  circulation,  and  hereafter  treat  her,  and  love  her  as  a 
sister,  as  some  amend  for  the  sorrow  she  had  known  through 
them.  So  she  left  them,  while  they  were  devising  a  scheme  that 
should  do  this  effectually,  and  passed  Miss  Harden  near  the  door 
with  a  firm  free  step,  conscious  of  innocence,  and  caring  little  for 
the  proud  sneer  of  that  young  lady ;  though  she  drew  down  her 
veil  rather  hastily,  knowing  that  her  eyes  were  still  swollen  with 
weeping,  and  not  caring  that  Miss  Harden  should  comment 
upon  it. 



Said  Sally,  "  my  mistress  and  they  had  a  time, 

As  sure  as  you  're  mixing  that  bread. 
Miss  Martha  was  mad,  and  Miss  Ellen  ran  out, 

And  her  eyes  were  all  swollen  and  red." 

Family  Quafrels. 

"  I  told  you  so ! " — Everybody's  Comment  on  a  Disclosure. 

OOD  gracious !  Harriet,  what  do  you  think  I  've 
heard  this  afternoon  ?  " 

Mrs.  Harden  did  not  allow  her  daughter  time 
to  put  off  her  bonnet  and  mantilla,  (a  velvet  man- 
tilla, one  of  the  four  in  Rivertown,)  before  she  accosted  her  with 
the  above  startling  query.  Miss  Harriet  could  not  pretend  to 
guess ;  but  she  also  had  her  own  private  astonishment,  and  she, 
too,  could  tell  something  if  she  chose. 

"Why,  what  do  you  mean?"  ejaculated  her  mother.  "Not 
more  about  Mary  Butler?" 

Miss  Harriet  gave  a  slight  nod  of  assent. 

"  Well,  if  it  doesn't  beat  all !  I  heard — that  is,  their  Jane 
(Mrs.  Jackson's  Jane)  just  ran  in  to  borrow  our  flat-irons,  (seems 
to  me  that  Jacksons  have  most  enormous  washes ;  that  child  has 
a  clean  white  dress  every  morning,  Jane  says,  and  two  bird's-eye 
aprons  a  day,)  well,  Jane  just  ran  in  a  minute,  and  she  told 
Hannah  (Hannah  saw  that  she  was  flustered  about  something), 
that  they  had  just  had  an  awful  time  at  their  house.  Mrs.  Jack- 
son, it  seems,  has  been  giving  Mary  Butler  music  lessons." 

"  No !  Now,  ma,  that  accounts  for  what  Adeline  told  me. 
I  've  just  come  from  there,  and  she  said,  Mrs.  Butler  had  hinted 


to  Mrs.  Mason  (you  know  they  board  there  now),  that  Mary 
wasn't  going  to  sew  so  steady  after  April,  and  asked  who  Ann 
Maria  took  lessons  of — and  how  much  Mr.  Broadbent  charged  a 
quarter.  We  thought  something  must  be  going  on,  but  we  couldn't 
understand  it.  Now,  it's  as  clear  as  daylight.  Mary  Butler 
must  be  thinking  that  Mr.  Jorden's  going  to  be  such  a  fool  as  to 
marry  her,  and  she's  preparing  to  set  up  for  a  great  lady.  Mary 
Butler  going  to  take  lessons  of  Mr.  Broadbent,  indeed !  when  pa 
says  he  can't  afford  to  let  me !  I  wonder  how  she  thinks  she's 
going  to  pay  him.  Make  his — " 

But  here  mother  could  keep  silence  no  longer ;  heir  information 
was  too  important  to  be  neglected ;  it  had  been  received  by  ex- 
press, and  she  expected  her  bulletin-board  would  be  surrounded 
by  an  astonished  crowd. 

"I've  no  patience  with  that  girl" — broke  in  Mrs.  Harden. 
"  What  d'ye  think  ?  As  I  was  saying,  Mrs.  Jackson  was  giving 
her  music  lessons.  Of  course,  Mary  Butler  having  nothing  to 
do,  can  find  plenty  of  time  to  practise!" — (Mrs.  Harden  evi- 
dently intended  this  to  be  ironical) — "  and  somehow,  Mrs.  Jackson 
heard  about  Mary  Butler's  goings  on  with  Mr.  Jorden.  How 
she  heard  I  'm  sure  I  can't  tell,  but  it  seems  to  be  all  over  town. 
/  havn't  mentioned  it  to  more  than  two  or  three,  and  I  guess  we 
saw  about  as  much  of  it  as  any  one." 

Mrs.  Harden  was  right  there,  at  least.  "Why,  don't  you 
know,  ma,  I  told  you  long  ago  that  John  heard  it  talked  about 
at  the  hotel,  and  that  Adeline  was  taking  tea  at  Mrs.  Smith's, 
weeks  ago,  and  they  knew  all  about  it.  Mrs.  Utley  and  Mrs. 
Folger  were  there.  It  was  the  night  after  you  had  company,  in 
March,  I  guess  it  was." 

"  Well,  however  she  heard  of  it,  Mrs.  Jackson's  not  the  woman 


to  let  such  things  go  unnoticed.  I  think  Jane  must  be  excellent 
help — she  runs  in  quite  often  to  see  Hannah.  Now,  Martha 
never  was  in  our  kitchen  once,  all  the  while  she  stayed  there. 
"We  never  would  have  known  anything  from  her.  How  long  has 
Jane  been  at  Mrs.  Jackson's  ?" 

"  About  three  weeks — do  go  on,  ma ;  I'm  dying  to  tell  you 

"  As  I  was  saying,  Mrs.  Jackson  of  course  would  not  counte- 
nance such  behaviour ;  so  she  bore  it  as  long  as  she  could — though 
she  didn't  treat  Mary  Butler  half  so  well  as  she  used  to.  I  always 
did  wonder  what  she  found  in  her  to  like,  and  at  last  this  very 
afternoon  she  out  with  it." 

"Why,  ma  —  there,  now  I  know!"  Miss  Harriet's  face 
brightened  as  if  she  had  found  the  solution  of  some  great  enigma. 
Sir  Isaac  himself  could  not  have  seemed  more  delighted  when 
that  apple  acted  as  a  key  to  nature's  mystery — the  philosopher  of 
still  more  ancient  times  did  not  cry  "Eureka,"  in  more  joyous 

"  What  d'ye  know,  Harriet? — just  wait  a  minute,  though,  till 
I  get  through  my  story.  Mrs.  Jackson  told  her  every  word,  and 
Mary  Butler  cried  like  everything.  According  to  all  accounts," 
(i.  e.  Jane's  and  Hannah's,)  "  they  had  an  awful  time.  Jane 
was  in  the  sitting-room  taking  care  of  little  Archie,  and  they 
were  in  the  parlour.  She  did  not  hear  all  they  said,  for  they 
talked  quite  low  part  of  the  time ;  but  Mrs.  Jackson  asked  Mary 
Butler  how  she  could  have  the  face  to  pretend  being  ignorant  of 
these  stories — and  told  her  she  had  'encouraged  Mr.  Jorden's 
attentions ' — these  were  the  very  words.  Mary  Butler  cried  like 
a  baby,  Jane  says,  and  to  cap  the  whole,  Mr.  Jorden  walked 
right  in  in  the  middle  of  it.  (Don't  you  think  it  was  strange  he 


should  go  to  Mrs.  Jackson's  without  ringing  ?  Jane  says  he  often 
does;  I  suppose  he  must  be  quite  intimate  there.") 

"What  did  he  say?" 

"  "Why  Jane  didn't  hear  the  rest.  The  sitting-room  door  fell 
to,  and  she  didn't  dare  to  open  it,  though  she  wanted  to  dread- 
fully. I'd  like  to  know  how  it  all  ended.  Jane  thinks  she  heard 
Mrs.  Jackson  tell  her  not  to  enter  her  doors  again ;  "  (oh,  Jane, 
what  a  fabrication!)  "and  I  shouldn't  wonder  if  she  did — such 
impudence !  "  And  Mrs.  Harden  fell  back  in  her  rocking-chair, 
quite  overcome  with  the  excitement  of  the  narrative — but  started 
up  again  as  Harriet  slowly  and  solemnly  said, — 

"  Well,  I  can  tell  you  more  about  that  business." 

Mrs.  Harden's  emotions  were  of  a  mingled  nature.  Curiosity 
to  hear  the  rest — vexation  that  she  was  not  the  sole  possessor  of 
this  important  piece  of  intelligence. 

"I  always  told  you,"  added  Miss  Harriet,  "that  we  should 
hear  more  from  that  quarter.  I  knew  Mary  Butler  was  an  artful 
creature  as  ever  lived !  I  was  coming  by  Mrs.  Jackson's  on  my 
way  home  from  Adeline's,  and  just  as  I  got  by  the  parlour  win- 
dow, I  happened  to  look  up.  There  was  Mrs.  Jackson  standing 
by  the  piano,  (the  shades  were  both  drawn  up,)  and  Mr.  Jorden 
was  on  the  other  side  turning  over  a  music-book.  Mr.  Jorden 
was  pale  as  death — (a  slight  embroidery,  Miss  Harriet,) — and 
Mrs.  Jackson  seemed  to  be  very  angry  about  something.  At  that 
very  minute  I  heard  the  front  door  open — -and  out  came  Mary 
Butler.  Her  eyes  were  red  as  that  curtain,  and  she  pulled  down 
her  veil  just  as  soon  as  she  saw  me.  I  don't  wonder  at  it,  Mr. 
Jorden's  being  angry — to  think  she  should  dare  to  dream  of  his 
marrying  her." 

Miss  Harriet  was  quite  indignant.    Had  she  not  a  right  to  be  ? 


Mr.  Jorden  had  never  paid  her  the  least  attention — in  fact,  she 
was  beginning  to  wonder  if  any  one  ever  would,  with  seriousness. 
Miss  Harriet  was  verging  towards — but  we  forget — a  lady's  age 
is  a  subject  not  to  be  treated  of  with  impunity.  Mrs.  Harden 
went  into  the  kitchen  under  pretence  of  seeing  when  tea  would 
be  ready,  but  in  reality  to  tell  Hannah  the  confirmation  of  Jane's 
wondrous  tale ;  and  her  daughter  slipped  on  her  bonnet  again, 
and  wrapping  her  mother's  blanket  shawl  about  her,  "ran  over" 
to  Adeline's  a  minute,  to  enjoy  her  surprise  at  what  she  had  to 
tell.  That  industrious  young  lady  was  making  over  her  stone- 
coloured  merino  dress,  preparatory  to  a  visit  in  the  country ;  (re- 
member, dear  reader,  Rivertown  was  almost  a  city,  and  numbered 
some  five  thousand  inhabitants ;)  but  she  paused  in  her  avocation, 
and  was  quite  as  much  overcome  as  Harriet  had  expected  her  to 
be — so  much  so,  that  the  dress  was  put  by  for  the  night;  and 
the  moment  Harriet  had  fairly  got  round  the  corner  on  her  way 
home,  Miss  Adeline  donned  hood  and  cloak,  and  set  out  for  Mrs. 
Smith's  to  enlighten  her  upon  the  terrible  denouement  at  Mrs. 
Jackson's.  Mrs.  Smith  was  the  gossip,  par  excellence,  of  River- 
town,  and  the  reader  may  naturally  conclude,  that  before  bed-time 
half  the  inhabitants  of  the  place  knew  all  about  the  "strange 
thing  that  happened  at  Mrs.  Jackson's  that  afternoon."  Mrs. 
Smith's  were  not  the  only  hood  and  over-shoes  that  were  put  in 
requisition  that  memorable  evening,  and  all  agreed  Mary  Butler 
was  served  right  for  flirting  with  Mr.  Jorden. 

"  I  should  not  wonder  if  he  told  her  to  her  face  that  she  was 
a  presuming  piece,"  said  one.  "  Nor  I,"  said  a  second.  Where- 
upon, the  story  gathered  as  it  rolled,  until  John  Harden  heard, 
at  the  hotel,  the  very  next  evening,  that  Mrs.  Jackson  had  turned 
Mary  Butler  out  of  her  house,  and  Mr.  Jorden  had  accused  her 


to  her  face  of  "  trying  to  get  him,"  adding  that  "  she  had  reckoned 
without  her  host "  All  the  young  men  declared  it  was  a  perfect 
shame,  for  Mary  Butler  was  the  handsomest  girl  in  town,  and 
that  was  why  all  the  girls  were  tattling  about  her.  For  their 
parts,  they  thought  she  was  worth  a  dozen  of  some  they  could 
namej  and  if  "  Jorden"  had  talked  so  to  her,  he  deserved  a 
horse-whipping.  "  He  shall  get  it,  too/'  muttered  Mr.  Hoffman, 
a  young  lawyer,  as  he  strode  from  the  room. 


"'Twas  plain  to  every  observer's  eye, 
That  party  spirit  was  running  high, 
And  this  was  the  popular  party." 

F  Mrs.  Harden  was  nearly  overcome  with  the  Jack- 
son affair,  imagine  the  state  of  her  mind  when,  not 
two  weeks  after,  it  was  rumoured  that  Mr.  Jorden 
was  going  to  be  married — and  to  whom,  of  all  peo- 
ple, but  Mrs  Jackson's  sister. 

Yes,  Mrs.  Smith  must  remember  her  —  that  tall  girl  that 
always  wore  such  low-necked  dresses,  and,  positively,  she'd  been 
seen  sitting  at  the  window  in  short  sleeves !  when  she  was  up 
from  New  York  last  summer.  To  be  sure,  if  Harriet  had  done  a 
thing  of  the  kind,  all  Rivertown  would  have  been  in  arms  about  it 
— but  it  was  Mrs.  Jackson's  sister,  and  that  was  enough  to  rnako 
anything  go  down  with  the  young  men.  The  fact  was,  if  Mrs. 
Jackson  had  been  some  people's  wife,  they'd  look  out  after  her  a 
little  closer ;  she  had  such  girlish  ways.  But  it  wasn't  her  (Mrs. 


Harden' s)  business — and  perhaps  it  was  well  for  the  poor  little 
lady  that  it  was  not. 

Yes,  Mr.  Jorden  was  going  to  be  married,  and  to  a  city  girl — 
that  was  unpardonable.  Why  couldn't  people  be  content  with 
those  they'd  known  for  years  and  years — been  brought  up  with, 
as  one  might  say.  As  if  Kivertown  girls  were  not  good  enough 
for  any  body,  and  quite  genteel  enough,  too.  What  was  more, 
Mrs.  Jackson  was  going  to  give  a  grand  party  in  honour  of  the 
bride,  such  a  party  as  Bivertown  had  never  seen.  Invitations 
were  to  be  issued  a  week  beforehand,  and  a  large  party  of  New  York 
people  were  coming  up  on  purpose  to  be  there.  Mr.  Jorden's 
brother  was  to  be  groomsman,  coming  all  the  way  from  Baltimore 
— for  he  had  been  adopted  by  his  uncle,  Livingstone  Carroll,  when 
he  was  quite  a  lad,  and  Mrs.  Harden  had  almost  forgotten  how 
he  looked.  Jane — that  girl  was  invaluable  to  Mrs.  Jackson ;  so 
said  her  neighbours,  and  who  had  a  better  right  to  know  about 
Mrs.  Jackson's  domestics  ? — Jane  said  the  cake  was  to  come  from 
New  York,  too,  and — but  Mrs.  Harden  wouldn't  pretend  to  tell 
half  she  heard  about  it.  Didn't  Mrs.  Smith  think  Mary  Butler  'd 
feel  well  now?  If  she'd  only  behaved  herself,  she  might  at 
least  have  had  an  invitation  to  the  party,  and  that  was  something, 
at  all  events,  considering  these  gentlemen  were  coming  from 
New  York.  Mrs.  Harden  wondered  if  Harriet  would  be  asked. 
Oh,  of  course,  though,  being  that  they  were  such  near  neigh- 

All  this  was  imparted  to  Mrs.  Smith  during  the  few  minutes 
that  they  stood  in  Vandeusen's  store,  Mrs.  Smith  waiting  for 
Adeline  Mitchell,  who  had  promised  to  drop  in  and  help  her 
choose  a  new  mousseline  de  lame — (Vandeusen's  mousseline  de 
laines  were  so  cheap — only  three  shillings — all  wool,  too — posi- 
3*  • 


lively  they  were  almost  as  nice  as  Mrs.  Utley's  cashmere  that  she 
gave  seventy-five  cents  for  in  New  York,  last  fall.)  Mrs.  Harden 
had  been  looking  at  some  sheeting  —  she  thought  thirteen  cents 
was  rather  high  for  bleached  sheeting;  but,  however,  she'd  look 
a  little  further,  and  call  again  if  she  did  not  find  any  that  would 
do  better. 

We  pass  over  the  intervening  two  weeks,  in  which  Mrs.  Jack- 
son's I'Tty  was  the  principal  topic  of  discussion,  with  one  diverging 
exception.  Mary  Butler  left  town  a  week  before  the  bride  was 
expected — just  about  the  time  they  were  to  be  married — and  no 
one  COT  Id  tell  where  she  had  gone,  or  for  what  purpose.  Her 
mother  was  resolutely  silent  upon  the  subject,  and  the  general 
conclusion  was  that  she  was  on  a  visit  to  some  country  friend,  to 
keep  out  of  the  way  of  the  Jorden  party.  No  wonder,  said 
everybody,  that  she  wanted  to  be  away  from  River  town  just  then. 

The  bridal  party  came  in  the  morning  boat,  almost  the  first 
boat  of  the  season — and,  wonder  of  wonders !  no  one  could  under- 
stand it,  Mary  Butler  was  with  them !  So  said  John  Harden, 
and  John  was  on  the  dock.  He  saw  her  get  into  a  carriage  and 
drive  up  with  the  Jacksons.  He  was  sure  it  was  Mary  Butler, 
for  he  knew  her  step  so  well,  though  she  kept  her  veil  down  all 
the  while.  Harriet  thought  John  must  be  crazy  —  in  fact,  she 
hinted  that  perhaps  he  was  not  quite  wide  awake.  She  was 
looking  out  of  the  window — she  happened  to  be  there  by  accident 
— when  the  carriage  came.  There  was  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jackson — 
the  bride — at  least  it  must  have  been,  for  she  had  on  a  magnifi- 
cent embroidered  merino — Mr.  Jorden,  (how  queer  he  did  look  !) 
and  one  lady  besides,  who  was  very  much  smaller  than  Mary 
Butler,  and  had  such  a  beautiful  little  hand !  Mary  Butler  never 
Baw  the  day  when  she  could  wear  so  small  a  glove  as  the  stranger 


wore.  The  next  carriage-load  were  all  new  faces  —  one  of  the 
gentlemen  had  such  magnificent  moustaches,  and  the  lady  he  was 
so  attentive  to,  wore  a  plaid  travelling  dress  and  dark-brown  gai- 
ters. Mary  Butler,  indeed  !  She  was  miles  away ;  and  it  served 
her  right,  too,  the  forward  chit ! 

John  was  not  yet  convinced ;  he  knew  that  his  sister  had  good 
eyes — very  sharp  eyes,  he  might  say — ("  Why,  John,  you  good- 
for-nothing  fellow  I"  broke  in  the  amiable  young  lady  in  ques- 
tion)— but  that  was  Mary  Butler,  and  she  might  see  for  herself 
to-night,  for  of  course  she  'd  be  at  the  party  if  it  was. 

At  eight — for  Rivertown  people  thought  that  hour  the  extreme 
of  fashion — there  was  a  goodly  throng  of  guests  assembled  in  the 
pretty  parlours  of  Mrs.  Jackson.  Mrs.  Harden  was  there,  in  the 
glory  of  a  new  black  silk.  Miss  Harriet  was  irresistible  in  pure 
white,  with  a  pink  sash  and  bows  down  the  skirt ;  her  hair  dressed 
after  the  pattern  of  the  tallest  figure  in  the  last  Lady's  Book 
fashion  plate.  If  it  did  not  look  well,  it  was  not  Adeline  Mit- 
chell's fault :  they  did  each  other's  curls  always,  and  as  Adeline 
had  no  invitation  for  this  particular  evening,  she  had  exhausted 
two  full  hours  and  all  her  ingenuity,  to  do  her  friend's  hair  in 
the  broadest,  finest  plaits  that  Rivertown  was  ever  surprised  with. 
Mrs.  Folger  and  Mrs.  Utley,  though  they  had  not  expected  to 
go,  for  they  were  little  known  in  Mrs.  Jackson's  circle,  were 
astonished  at  receiving  cards,  with  a  particular  request  in  Mrs. 
Jackson's  own  handwriting,  that  they  would  not  fail  to  be  there. 
This  they  could  not  account  for ;  the  same  note  was  appended  to 
the  card  received  by  the  Harden  family,  and  a  few  others  of  their 
acquaintance  ;  and  Harriet  had  boasted  not  a  little  at  the  circum- 
stance, from  which  she  drew  the  inference  that  Mrs.  Jackson 
wished  her  sister  to  be  very  intimate  with  them.  This  was  told 


more  than  once,  and  at  last  became — "  Mrs.  Jackson  said  posi- 
tively she  should  be  very  much  hurt  if  we  did  n't  come,  being 
old  neighbours  so  long." 

The  bride  had  not  yet  made  her  appearance,  but  the  New  York 
strangers  were  there ;  and  Harriet  was  made  inconceivably  happy 
by  Mrs.  Jacksonjs  introduction  to  the  gentleman  with  moustaches, 
who  began  a  most  entertaining  conversation.  Mrs.  Harden 
nodded  and  smiled  at  Mrs.  Utley  in  delight ;  Harriet  had  doubt- 
less made  a  conquest.  Just  at  that  moment,  the  bride  and  her 
attendants  entered,  and  both  mother  and  daughter  stifled  a  scream 
of  anger  and  amazement.  Mary  Butler — beautiful,  so  beautiful, 
in  her  satin  dress,  with  tunics  of  delicate  tulle  —  was  the  first 
bridesmaid  ! 

Ah !  there  could  be  no  mistake  now.  And  if  any  there  were, 
it  had  been  quickly  dispelled,  for  Harriet's  companion,  Mr. 
Costar,  began  most  earnestly  to  praise  Miss  Butler,  presuming 
that  she  was  a  friend  of  Miss  Harden's.  Poor  Harriet,  obliged 
to  sit  there  and  listen  to  the  recital  of  Mary  Butler's  triumphs, 
how  much  she  had  been  admired  in  the  city,  how  every  one  had 
regretted  her  stay  had  been  so  short ! 

"You  have  such  a  treasure  in  her,"  said  Mr.  Costar;  "I 
almost  envy  your  delightful  little  town  that  one  possession.  She 
must  be  universally  beloved,  though,  now  I  think  of  it,  I  recollect 
something  Jorden  told  me  of  malicious  stories  got  up  by  a  set  of 
disappointed  old  maids,  or  some  people  of  that  sort.  Ah,  yes," 
he  continued,  unconsciously,  "  that  was  the  reason  my  little  cousin 
was  so  particular  that  she  should  be  first  bridesmaid.  I  remem- 
ber that  Miss  Butler  would  not  listen  to  it  at  first.  I  wonder  if 
any  of  those  people  are  here  to-night  ?  Do  you  know  any  thing 
about  it?" 


Mr.  Costar  knew  not  that  each  word  was  a  dagger  to  his 
listener.  He  had  been  told  by  his  hostess  to  be  very  attentive 
to  Miss  Harden,  and  was  so,  because  it  was  Mrs.  Jackson's  request. 
As  her  mother  came  rushing  across  the  room  to  her,  he  politely 
resigned  his  seat,  and  left  them  to  console  each  other  in  their 
mortification.  They  understood  the  particular  invitation  now. 
They  began  to  have  a  glimmering  of  the  truth.  And  was  it  not 
punishment  enough  to  see  Mary  Butler  moving  as  among  her 
equals,  admired  by  the  strangers,  and  noticed  by  the  tlite  of 
Rivertown,  who  now  sought  one  before  unnoticed,  because  others 
did  so  ?  And  she,  not  seeming  to  know  any  thing  of  this  strange 
by-play,  moved  gracefully  and  gently  among  the  guests,  bearing 
her  honours,  or  rather  her  deserved  praises,  most  meekly. 



"Where  did  I  leave  off?     Oh — " — WIDOW  BEDOTT. 

ITTLE   occurred   to   disturb   the   tranquillity  of 
Rivertown  for  some  time  after  Mrs.  Jorden,  "  the 
bride,"  as  she  was  called  for  six  months  at  least, 
was  fairly  settled  in  her  comfortable  new  house. 
Miss  Adeline  Mitchell  lived  exactly  opposite,  and  during  the 
cleaning,  moving,  etc.,  her  mind  and  heart  had  been  completely 


occupied.  Now  and  then  Harriet  Harden  relieved  her  from  her 
arduous  post  behind  the  second  story  window  blind,  and  the  two 
together  could  tell  you  any  article  of  furniture  that  the  Jordens 
possessed.  John  Harden  vowed  he  believed  they  knew  how 
many  pails  of  water  had  been  carried  in  from  the  street  pump, 
and  the  exact  quantity  of  lime  that  had  been  used  in  white- 
washing. But  Adeline  said  this  was  only  because  she  happened 
to  mention  before  him  that  there  were  two  solar  lamps,  one  for 
each  parlour,  and  a  mahogany  bedstead  in  each  of  the  front 
chambers.  She  did  wonder,  and  she  could  not  help  it,  why  they 
wanted  two  washstands  in  the  same  room ;  she  was  sure  there 
were  no  less  than  three  marble-topped  washstands  in  that  house, 
besides  four  maple  ones.  The  very  "hired  girl"  had  a  new 
wash-bowl  and  pitcher. 

She  did  not  know  what  others  might  think,  but  for  her  part, 
as  Mrs.  Harden  said,  "  easy  come,  easy  goes,"  and  she  guessed 
Henry  Jorden  would  learn  to  know  the  value  of  money  one  of 
these  days,  now  that  he'd  got  a  wife  that  could  help  him  spend 
it.  She  actually  was  going  to  keep  two  servants,  a  woman,  and 
a  little  girl  to  run  of  errands,  besides  the  man  who  took  care  of 
the  horse  and  brought  the  water,  and  all  that. 

It  was  worse  st^ll  when  it  was  duly  announced,  by  observant 
neighbours,  that  they  had  two  horses,  and  Mr.  Jorden  had  ordered 
a  magnificent  new  carriage  at  Delamarten's,  which  magnificent 
establishment  would  have  passed  in  New  York  for  a  plain,  light 
family  vehicle,  and  would  have  excited  no  attention  whatever. 
Yet  not  once  was  it  seen  in  the  streets  of  Bivertown  but  clerks 
hastened  to  store-doors,  milliners'  apprentices  dropped  straw  and 
silks  to  run  to  the  "front  shop,"  and  servant-girls  ran  to  call 
their  mistresses,  bidding  them  hurry  as  they  came,  "  or  it  would 


get  by."  Everywhere  windows  flew  up,  and  blinds  flew  open ; 
it  was  almost  as  much  of  an  excitement  as  when  "  Dickens " 
passed  through  Main  street  the  summer  before.  Every  traveller 
who  arrived  at  the  Rivertown  House  for  months  afterwards,  that 
was  so  unfortunate  as  to  wear  a  linen  blouse,  and  have  an  uncom- 
mon quantity  of  long,  light  hair,  was  surely  "  Dickens  himself, 
again ;  "  and  so  any  strange  vehicle,  of  whatever  description,  that 
could  boast  of  four  wheels  and  a  covered  top,  was  at  some  period 
and  by  some  persons,  taken  for  the  new  carriage,  and  criticised 
and  depreciated  as  such. 

Gradually  the  fever  of  curiosity  came  to  a  crisis,  it  passed,  and 
in  the  languor  that  succeeded  the  dearth  of  incident  was  unre- 
lieved for  weeks.  But  after  the  catalogue  of  Mrs.  Jordan's 
furniture  and  wardrobe  had  been  duly  committed  to  memory, 
Mary  Butler  and  her  mother  were  once  more  taken  under  conside- 
ration. Mr.  Jackson  had  interested  himself  very  much 'in  their 
behalf,  and  through  his  generous  exertions  they  had  gained  a 
tiresome  law-suit,  and  found  themselves  once  more  possessed  of  a 
small,  but,  for  them,  sufficient  competency.  Mary  Butler  had 
her  own  piano  now,  and  her  little  parlour  was  as  fairy-like  a 
loudoir  as  one  could  wish  to  see.  They  had  rented  a  cottage 
that  stood  back  from  one  of  the  principal  streets,  with  a  closely 
shaven  lawn  in  front,  bordered  by  flowering  shrubs  of  every  de- 
scription. A  grape-vine  clung  with  its  sweeping  foliage  to  the 
trellis  that  extended  the  length  of  the  house,  and  here  Mary  was 
as  happy  as  a  bird  with  her  books,  her  flowers,  and  her  piano. 
She  did  no  discredit  to  her  teacher,  and  often,  in  the  evening,  her 
clear  voice  came  ringing  through  the  foliage,  arresting  the  passer- 
by with  its  wild  melody,  until  quite  a  little  audience  gathered 
under  the  elm-trees ;  and  the  murmurs  of  applause,  if  not  as  loud, 



were  certainly  as  sincere,  as  those  which  greet  a  favourite  prima 
donna  on  her  benefit  night. 

Even  Miss  Adeline  Mitchell  had  condescended  to  call  upon 
her,  introduced  by  Harriet  Harden,  who  had  claimed  acquaint- 
anceship since  the  night  of  Mrs.  Jackson's  party.  Mary  could 
not  treat  them  unkindly,  for  as  the  memory  of  her  sorrow  faded 
in  the  present  sunshine  of  happiness,  she  grew  more  and  more 
lenient  towards  those  who  had  been  its  cause.  With  a  genuine 
spirit  of  Christian  forgiveness,  she  pardoned  "those  who  had 
trespassed  against  her,"  and  strove  te  find  palliating  circumstances, 
for  what  her  mother  termed  "  heartless  slander,"  when  the  tale 
at  last  reached  her  ears. 


Seeing  is  believing." — OLD  PROVERB. 

RS.  SMITH  had  just  come  in  from  the  kitchen 
to  see  how  Miss  Martin,  the  dressmaker,  pro- 
gressed in  her  task  of  making  "auld  claiths  look 
amaist  as  weel  as  new."  It  was  considered 
unpardonable  extravagance  in  Rivertown,  to  hire  a  seamstress 
for  plain-sewing;  and  three  tailoresses,  four  dressmakers,  and 
one  widow  lady,  who  was  handy  at  everything,  circulated 
at  intervals  among  the  better  class  of  families,  their  semi-annual 
visits  being  regarded  as  quite  delightful  by  the  mistress  of  the 
house,  for  gossip  was  then  the  order  of  the  day.  Miss  Martin 
was  a  universal  favourite  in  the  Harden  and  Smith  clique,  for  she 
also  sewed  for  the  Jacksons,  the  Barnards,  and  the  Millers,  people 


of  whom  they  saw  very  little,  except  in  the  street  or  at  church. 
Miss  Martin  could  tell  you  all  about  Miss  Barnard's  New  York 
lover ;  she  thoroughly  understood  the  domestic  economy  of  the 
Millers,  and  did  not  hesitate  to  say  that  Mrs.  Jackson  had  her 
own  way  completely,  and  as  for  her  husband,  it  was  too  bad  for  a 
man  like  him  to  have  to  put  up  with  everything  as  he  did. 

This  particular  morning  the  conversation  turned  upon  Mrs. 
Jorden,  and  as  Miss  Martin  had  been  employed  by  that  lady  for 
a  day  or  two  previous,  there  was  much  to  be  said,  and  a  variety 
of  questions  asked.  It  was  at  length  settled  by  Miss  Martin's 
testimony,  that  the  back  parlour  curtains  were  worsted  damask  in- 
stead of  silk ;  that  Mrs.  Jorden  always  wore  a  cap  at  breakfast, 
and  never  came  to  dinner  in  her  morning  dress — ("such  airs  !" 
exclaimed  Mrs.  Smith,)  —  that  Mr.  Jorden  often  passed  whole 
evenings  out  of  the  house — and  here  Miss  Martin  became  quite 
mysterious,  and  could  not  be  prevailed  upon  to  give  any  informa- 
tion with  regard  to  the  employment  of  said  evenings. 

" He  haint  joined  the  Odd  Fellows?"  said  Mrs.  Smith,  throw- 
ing up  both  hands. 

"No,"  was  the  concise  reply. 

"  You  don't  say  he  goes  to  that  shocking  ten-pin  alley? " 

"Not  that  ever  I  heard  of,"  vouchsafed  Miss  Martin;  and 
then,  urged  by  her  listener,  she  at  length  disclosed  that  she 
believed  quite  too  much  of  his  time  was  passed  at  Mary  Butler's. 

"Of  all  things!"  exclaimed  Mrs.  Smith  rocking  back  ener- 
getically upon  the  kitten's  tail,  who  sent  forth  a  piteous  yell  as 
the  door  opened  to  admit  Adeline  Mitchell.  "  Oh,  Adeline,  I  'm 
so  glad  to  see  you,"  was  the  greeting.  "What  do  you  think 
Miss  Martin  says?  Mr.  Jorden  is  absolutely  half  his  time  at 
Mary  Butler's." 


"  Perhaps  not  quite  half/'  mildly  interposed  the  informant; 
"  and  if  you  '11  never  tell — but  no,  I  've  no  right  to  mention  such 
things,"  and  Miss  Martin  industriously  waxed  a  needleful  of 

"  Ah,  come,  go  on,  we  '11  never  mention  it,  you  may  depend," 
said  Adeline  Mitchell,  with  breathless  eagerness. 


"  Never — that  is,  only  to  Harriet  Harden ;  you  '11  let  me  tell 
her,  won't  you;  but  it  sha'n't  go  a  step  further." 

"  Well,  then — but  I  guess  I'd  better  not,  after  all." 

"Oh,  do  now." 

"  I  've  seen  him  give  her  letters,  and  she'd  blush  terribly,  and 
hide  them  in  her  pocket  as  quick  as  thought.  Then  he  always 
calls  her  '  Mary,'  which  is  quite  too  familiar  to  suit  me,  and  worse 
than  all,  Mrs.  Jorden's  found  it  out. 

"  You  don't  say  so !  " 

"What  did  she  do?" 

"  It  was  only  last  night — (now  if  you  ever  whisper  this,  I  shall 
never  forgive  you.)  I  '11  tell  you  how  I  happened  to  hear  it.  I 
was  sewing  in  the  dining-room,  (as  she  will  call  it ;  /  should  say 
sitting-room,)  and  as  I  'd  got  the  sleeves  basted  in  and  the  hooks 
and  eyes  on,  I  thought  I  'd  get  her  to  try  on  the  waist,  so  I  just 
stepped  to  the  back  parlour  door,  but  as  1  got  there  I  stopped  a 
minute,  for  I  thought  I  heard  high  words,  and  the  first  I  heard 
was — '  You  spend  quite  too  much  of  your  time  at  Mrs.  Butler's, 
and  I  won't  allow  it  any  more  !' — then  he  said  something  I  could 
not  quite  understand,  and  she  answered  '  No,  I  'm  not  naturally 
inclined  to  be  jealous;  but  I  shall  put  a  stop  to  this,  I  assure 
you.'  Then  they  talked  lower,  and  so  I  just  walked  in,  quite 
unconcerned,  and  there  they  stood  by  the  fire-place.  Just  as  I 


opened  the  door,  he  tried  to  put  his  arm  round  her  waist,  to  make 
up,  I  suppose,  and  she  pushed  it  away — there,  like  that/'  and 
Miss  Martin,  suiting  the  action  to  the  word,  gave  Miss  Adeline  a 
somewhat  ungentle  repulse. 

"  Well,  I  always  said,  from  the  first,  there  was  no  good  in  their 
acquaintance.  You  remember  what  a  time  Mrs.  Jackson  made  a 
year  ago  about  it  ?  "  said  Mrs.  Smith,  appealing  to  Adeline  Mit- 

"  Don't  I  though — if  they  did  pretend  to  be  such  good  friends 
afterwards  ?  I  've  always  thought  the  Jacksons  took  her  up  be- 
cause she  happened  to  get  a  little  money  about  that  time.  To 
be  sure,  she  runs  there  now  every  day  of  her  life ;  but  I  '11  war- 
rant Mrs.  Jackson  would  like  to  put  a  stop  to  it  if  she  could." 

Suddenly,  Miss  Mitchell  recollected  that  she  had  promised  to 
run  in  and  see  Harriet  a  little  while  that  morning. 

"  Oh,  stay  to  dinner,"  said  Mrs.  Smith,  "  and  we  can  talk  it 
all  over.  I  'm  most  through  in  the  kitchen,  and  then  I  'm  going 
to  cover  cord  for  Miss  Martin ;  I  've  got  nothing  in  the  world  to 

But  Miss  Adeline  was  already  tying  on  her  bonnet. 

"  We  're  going  to  have  pot-pie,"  urged  her  hostess. 

"  And  apple-dumplings,"  suggested  Miss  Martin,  whose  choice 
in  dessert  had  just  been  consulted. 

But  the  love  of  gossip  prevailed  over  that  of  apple-dumplings, 
and  Miss  Mitchell  disappeared  just  as  Mrs.  Smith  was  summoned 
to  the  kitchen  by  the  hired  girl's  announcement  that  "  the  crust 
was  riz." 

Mrs.  Harden  and  Harriet  were  hastily  informed  of  all  that 
had  occurred;  Miss  Martin's  relation  having  received  this  em- 
bellishment, that  Mrs.  Jorden  had  said — "  though  not  naturally 


jealous,  she  could  not  help  being  so  now,  and  she'd  put  a  stop  to 
all  such  proceedings  at  once."  Nor  did  the  ladies  separate  until 
the  younger  ones  had  made  an  engagement  to  call  on  Mary  But- 
ler the  very  next  morning  and  judge  for  themselves.  Scarcely 
had  Adeline  departed,  before  Mrs.  Harden  recollected  that  she 
had  not  promised  secrecy,  it  having  been  exacted  only  of  Har- 
riet ;  and  as  dinner  was  over,  and  the  pudding  baking  nicely,  she 
might  as  well  run  into  Mrs.  Van  Deusin's  an  instant.  Before 
night,  half  Bivertown  pitied  "poor  Mrs.  Jorden,"  and  blamed 
her  husband  and  Mary  Butler. 


My  friends — at  least  I  call  them  s<v— 

They  always  seem  to  be, 

Most  kind,  most  civil,  so  polite, 

Whene'er  they  visit  me." 

"Who  could  have  believed  it?" 


TARY  BUTLER  was  resolutely  practising  one 
of  Herz's  most  brilliant  variations  when  the 
threatened  visit  was  paid.  She  did  not  feel 
quite  at  ease  as  the  ladies  entered,  for  she  had 
never  liked  them,  and  there  was  an  air  of  remarkable  warmth 
in  their  salutations  that  disconcerted  her.  However,  she  tried  to 
conceal  her  vexation,  and  kindly  entered  into  the  brisk  conver- 
sation which  they  at  once  commenced. 

The  magazines  with  which  the  centre-table  was  strewn,  served 


to  commence  a  discussion  on  the  relative  merits  of  their  fashion- 
plates,  and  Mary  was  not  a  little  amused  at  their  decision  in 
favor  of  that  •which  displayed  the  most  ungraceful  figures.  From 
fashions  to  Miss  Martin  was  an  easy  transition — "Did  Miss  But- 
ler ever  employ  her  ?  " 

Mary  smiled  a  little  as  she  replied  that,  from  motives  both  of 
taste  and  economy,  she  had  always  chosen  to  make  her  own 

The  young  ladies  exchanged  glances  at  this  open  confession, 
and  Miss  Mitehell  asked  if  she  had  never  met  Miss  Martin  at 
Mrs.  Jorden's.  Yes,  Miss  Butler  remembered  having  seen  her 
there  two  or  three  days  before ;  she  recollected  it  perfectly,  for 
Mr.  Jorden  was  to  have  come  in  that  evening,  and  practised  a 
new  duet,  but  something  had  prevented. 

A  second  fire  of  glances  was  here  exchanged,  and  the  young 
ladies  looked  back  at  Mary  to  see  if  she  was  not  confused.  But 
strange  to  say,  there  was  no  sign  of  embarrassment  upon  her 
face.  Yet  she  did  not  seem  at  ease  after  all,  for  she  started  every 
time  the  garden  gate  opened ;  they  noticed  that  particularly ;  and 
once  she  went  to  the  window,  but  it  was  only  the  boy  from  a 
neighbouring  grocery  store,  with  his  basket  of  brown  paper 

Conversation  languished.  Adeline  waited  for  her  friend  to 
give  the  signal  for  the  termination  of  their  call.  But  no  —  that 
young  lady  was  determined  to  know  more  of  the  matter  which 
had  occupied  her  thoughts  for  the  past  twenty-four  hours.  So 
she  recommenced  the  discussion  before  alluded  to,  calling  Ade- 
line's attention  to  a  new  style  of  mantilla  which  had  before 
escaped  their  observation.  Just  at  this  juncture  a  loud  knock — 

few  Rivertown  houses  can  boast  of  bells — startled  them  all,  and 


much  to  the  astonishment  of  her  visitors,  Mary  ran  to  the  street 
door  herself. 

They  had  scarcely  time  to  make  a  whispered  comment,  when 
she  re-entered  the  room  with  a  small  parcel  in  her  hand,  looking 
very  much  flushed  and  excited,  and  bade  the  messenger  wait 
until  she  saw  whether  an  answer  was  required.  A  triumphant 
glance  from  Harriet  directed  Miss  Mitchell's  attention  to  the 
person  of  Mrs.  Jorden's  man-servant,  who  stood  leaning  against 
the  hall-door,  and  back  again  to  the  deep  blush,  yes,  an  unmis- 
takeable  blush,  that  rose  to  Mary  Butler's  foi'ehead  as  she  perused 
the  note  that  accompanied  the  parcel.  Then  she  tore  off  the 
envelope,  displaying  —  could  they  believe  the  evidence  of  their 
own  senses  !  —  a  miniature  case ! 

At  first  she  seemed  quite  to  have  forgotten  their  presence,  but 
as  she  gave  one  hurried  glance  at  its  contents  she  recalled  herself, 
and  begging  them  to  excuse  her  absence  a  moment,  left  the  room 
to  write  a  note  of  reply.  The  miniature  she  evidently  forgot  in 
her  haste,  and  it  was  left  lying  upon  the  table  in  dangerous  prox- 
imity to  Miss  Harriet,  with  the  note  carelessly  beside  it. 

Miss  Harden  directed  a  half-guilty,  half-curious  look  towards 
her  friend ;  a  similar  glance  responded.  But  no — they  could  not 
so  fairly  sin  against  good-breeding,  even  with  such  a  stimulus ; 
and  Adeline  Mitchell  began  turning  over  the  music  upon  the 
piano.  A  new  waltz  was  lying  upon  the  rack,  and  she  ran  her 
fingers  over  the  keys  to  try  it.  She  really  possessed  some  little 
musical  skill,  and  becoming  interested  in  the  beautiful  melody, 
did  not  look  up  until  the  re-entrance  of  Mary  Butler.  As  she 
turned,  she  noticed  that  Harriet  seemed  deeply  absorbed  in  a  book 
she  had  opened,  and  that  she  started  with  a  heightened  colour 
as  Mary  Butler  made  an  apology  for  keeping  them  waiting  so  long. 


Moreover,  she  did  not  quite  understand  why  she  rose  in  such 
haste  directly  after,  and  declared  she  had  forgotten  an  engagement 
to  shop  with  her  mother  that  morning.  As  they  closed  the  gar- 
den gate,  on  leaving  the  house,  Harriet  called  her  attention  to 
the  parlour  window,  and  she  distinctly  saw  Mary  Butler  press 
the  miniature  to  her  lips  as  she  took  it  from  its  resting-place. 

"Do  you  know  whose  miniature  that  is?"  were  the  first 
agitated  words  as  they  regained  the  street. 

"I  haven't  the  slightest  idea.  I  wonder  how  Mr.  Jorden 
came  to  send  it  to  her." 

"Oh,  well, — Adeline  Mitchell,  —  as  sure  as  you're  walking 
Main  street,  it  was  Henry  Jorden  himself!" 

Her  companion  absolutely  turned  pale.  Even  she  could  not 
believe  so  entire  a  confirmation  of  their  worst  suspicions. 

"  But,  Harriet,"  she  faltered,  "  you  did  n't  dare" — 

"  Yes,  but  I  did ;  it  was  lying  right  before  me  on  the  centre 
table  —  anything  there  is  always  public  property — and  what's 
more,  the  note  was  half  open,  and  I  couldn't  resist  the  opportu- 
nity to  read  just  a  line.  Now  if  you  ever  tell,  I  '11  never  speak 
to  you  again  as  long  as  I  live." 

"  Well,  I  won't — I  won't.     Mercy,  I  never  should  have" — 

"Yes  you  would,  though,  if  you  had  sat  where  I  did.  I 
couldn't  help  reading  the  first  line  and  then  I  went  on  a  little 
further — I  heard  her  coming  before  I  got  near  through.  I  didn't 
touch  it  at  all,  so  it 's  not  so  very  bad.  It  was  more  than  half  open, 
and  I  poked  it  with  my  pencil  a  little  nearer." 

"  What  was  it  about  ?  " 

"  What  do  you  suppose  a  man  would  write  when  he  sends  a 
lady  his  miniature  ?  It  was  all  love  from  beginning  to  end,  and 
I  'd  swear  to  the  handwriting  and  signature  any  day.  I  remem- 


ber  every  word  I  read — let  me  think — it  began  '  Dear  Mary/  and 
then  there  was  something  about '  as  the  original  couldn't  be  always 
near  her,  he  sent  the  copy  as  soon  as  it  came  from  New  York ' — 
(it  seems  it  was  painted  there) — *  and  hoped  it  would  prove  a 
substitute  until  the  original  was  always  by  her,  to  '  give  her  that 
love  which  the^  picture,  faithful  as  it  was,  could  not  bestow.' 
These  were  the  very  words ;  I  did  not  see  how  it  ended,  but  I 
read  his  name  signed  in  full  at  the  bottom  of  the  page,  just  as  I 
heard  her  step." 

"  I  can't  believe  you,  Harriet." 

"I  can't  believe  my  own  eyes  yet;  but  I  tell  you  the  living 
truth.  What  will  ma  say  ?  such  bold-faced,  shameless  conduct' ' 
— (Miss  Harriet  was  not  alluding  to  her  own,  dear  ladies) — "  I 
never  heard  of  before.  I  think  Mrs.  Jorden  ought  to  know  it." 

At  this  crisis  they  were  interrupted  by  "ma"  herself,  who 
was  "  cheapening  "  a  piece  of  bleached  muslin  at  the  front  counter 
of  Gurnsey  &  Yerry's,  and  called  to  them  as  they  passed.  After 
a  wonder  at  the  length  of  their  visit,  and  a  promise  to  the  polite 
shopman  that  she  would  call  some  other  day,  (an  indefinite  pro- 
missory note  which  he  well  understood,  as  meaning  his  goods 
were  too  high,  and  she  would  go  where  they  could  be  purchased 
cheaper,^  the  happy  trio  proceeded  down  the  street. 

Harriet's  information  produced  an  effect  even  greater  than  she 
had  anticipated.  Mrs.  Harden  was  absolutely  horror  struck ! 
She  protested  such  things  should  not  be  allowed  in  a  Christian 
community;  that  every  woman  in  Rivertown  ought  to  set  her 
face  against  such  a  bold  piece  as  Mary ;  and,  for  her  part,  Harriet 
was  forbidden,  from  that  day,  to  darken  Mrs.  Butler's  door. 




Said  Mrs.  Flynn  to  Mrs.  Sweet, 
'  I  wash  my  hands  of  the  elite  ! ' 
Said  Mrs.  Sweet  to  Mrs.  Flynn, 
1 1  wish  we  never  had  gone  in  ! ' 


"  Husband  and  wife  need  not  a  go-between. 
I  did  not  say  I  lived  unhappily." 


[ISS  MARTIN'S  engagement  at  Mrs.  Smith's 
ended  the  second  day  after  her  suspicions  had  been 
confirmed  by  the  testimony  of  Harriet  Harden. 
She  did  not  give  expression  to  her  thoughts 
upon  the  occasion,  except  by  mysterious  nods  and  winks,  that 
said  as  plainly  as  gestures  have  ever  been  known  to  speak — "  I 
told  you  so  ! "  From  that  time  there  was  a  strangely  triumphant 
expression  in  her  glittering  grey  eyes,  and  a  peculiar  withered 
smile  hung  perpetually  about  her  lips.  Miss  Margaret  Martin 
was  a  maiden  lady  of  thirty-nine.  She  was,  as  our  readers  may 
have  seen,  a  perfect  Athenian  so  far  as  regards  a  propensity  for 
"  hearing  and  telling  some  new  thing,"  and  her  peculiar  mode 
of  life  did  not  tend  to  lessen  this  natural  disposition. 

From  Mrs.  Smith's  her  needle-book  and  scissors  were  in  re- 
quisition at  Mrs.  Miller's,  of  whom  we  have  before  spoken,  and 
who  was  on  intimate  terms  with  Mrs.  Jorden.  It  is  not  to  be 
supposed  that  so  grand,  so  peculiar  a  bit  of  gossip  was  long  with- 


held  from  that  lady's  ears.  Of  her  own  part  in  the  discovery, 
Miss  Margaret  said  not  a  word,  but  while  commiserating  poor 
Mrs.  Jorden,  she  most  innocently  wondered  who  could  have 
started  such  a  story  ?  The  way  she  heard  of  it  was  this : — Two 
young  ladies  (she  couldn't  mention  names),  had  been  paying  a 
call  on  Mary  Butler,  and  were  surprised  to  find  Mr.  Jorden' s 
miniature  on  her  centre-table.  They  thought  nothing  of  it,  of 
course,  (it  might  have  been  left  there  by  Mrs.  Jorden  herself,) 
but  when  they  were  coming  out  they  stopped  to  fasten  the  garden- 
gate,  and  looking  back  accidentally,  they  distinctly  saw  Mary 
Butler  kiss  the  very  miniature  as  she  stood  by  the  window ! 
Then  it  was  afterwards  discovered  that  he,  Mr.  Jorden,  was  in 
the  habit  of  writing  to  her  two  or  three  times  a  week,  and  one 
of  the  letters,  by  the  merest  accident,  had  been  found,  and  was 
full  of  the  most  love-like  expressions.  Moreover,  she  herself 
chanced  to  know  that  Mr.  Jorden  frequently  passed  the  evening 
there,  and  sometimes  without  his  wife.  Miss  Margaret  had  seen 
him  going  in  once  alone ;  she  remembered  it  distinctly,  because 
it  was  the  night  of  the  terrible  high  wind  that  blew  down 
Sprague  &  Skinner's  new  sign.  She  thought  it  was  strange  then 
that  Mrs.  Jorden  should  not  have  been  with  him  —  did  Mrs. 
Miller  recollect  that  terrible  stormy  night  ? 

Mrs.  Miller  had  not  forgotten  the  evening  in  question,  and 
she  smiled  as  she  thought  his  being  out  alone  was  not  strange 
thai  night  at  least. 

"  To  be  sure,"  continued  Miss  Martin,  (calling  Mrs.  Miller's 
little  girl  at  the  same  time,  to  come  and  have  a  waist-lining  tried 
on,)  "  to  be  sure,  Miss  Barnard  says  they  practise  together;  that 
Mrs.  Jorden  hates  music,  and  he's  all  bound  up  in  it,  so  he  goes 
over  and  takes  his  flute.  But  to  my  mind  it's  as  clear  as  day- 


light,  that  it's  only  an  excuse.    I  declare,  I  can  hardly  keep  still 

when  I  think  how  that  girl  goes  on,  and " 

Miss  Margaret's  attention  was  here  arrested  by  a  sharp  cry 
from  the  patient  little  martyr  before  her.  She  had  become  so 
interested  in  her  story,  that  she  had  quite  forgotten  the  particular 
branch  of  business  she  was  attending  to,  and  so  had  gone  on 
drawing  up  the  lining  here,  and  sticking  in  a  pin  there,  until  the 
poor  child  could  scarcely  breathe.  At  last,  as  she  absently  pinned 
through  shoulder  and  all,  the  cry  escaped  which  recalled  her  to 
her  task. 

Now  the  child  had  just  been  learning  a  history  lesson  for  the 
next  day,  wherein  the  misdeeds  of  the  Salem  witches  were  re- 
corded. And  as  she  sobbed  with  the  fright  and  the  pain,  the 
terrible  suspicion  flashed  through  her  mind  that  Miss  Martin  was 
one  of  that  amiable  sisterhood  revived ;  and,  indeed,  the  face  that 
bent  over  her  favoured  the  conclusion.  From  that  instant,  it  was 
only  by  bribes,  threats,  and,  in  fact,  ofttimes  punishment,  that, 
she  could  be  induced  to  enter  her  tormentor's  presence. 

Miss  Martin  was,  however,  happily  unconscious  of  the  classical 
compliment  involuntarily  paid  to  her,  and  suggested  to  Mrs. 
Miller  that  some  friend  of  Mrs.  Jorden's  ought  to  tell  her  how 
things  were  going  on. 

"  If  a  stop  is  put  to  it  now,"  said  she,  "  it 's  well  and  good  for 

everybody  but  Mary  Butler.     But  if  things " 

Again  the  sentence  was  left  unfinished,  for  the  very  people  in 
question  passed  the  window,  and  as  they  did  so,  Mr.  Jorden  gave 
Mary  a  letter,  which  she  quickly  slipped  into  her  bag.  Mrs. 
Miller  was  made  a  witness  to  that,  as  well  as  the  peculiar  eager- 
ness of  Mary's  manner  as  she  received  it,  and  for  the  first  time 
she  began  to  think  there  was  a  foundation,  at  least,  for  what  Miss 


Martin  had  told  her.  She  had  allowed  that  lady  to  finish  her 
recital  because  she  knew  it  was  useless  to  attempt  to  check  the 
tide;  paying  little  regard  to  it  meanwhile,  although  she  was 
vexed  that  her  friend's  name  should  be  brought  with  a  gossip 
of  that  character.  Now,  although  she  well  knew  Miss  Martin's 
talent  for  the  embroidery  of  unvarnished  facts,  quite  exceeded 
her  skill  in  plain-sewing,  she  was  sure  there  was  some  cause,  at 
least,  though  she  doubted  not  it  was  a  perfectly  innocent  one, 
for  this  really  slanderous  tale. 

She,  as  well  as  Miss  Martin,  came  to  the  resolution  that  Mrs. 
Jorden  should  know  it,  but  from  a  different  reason.  She  hoped 
that  she  could  and  would  explain  the  mystery  to  the  satisfaction 
of  all,  and  she  thought  such  an  explanation  was  due  to  all  the 
parties  concerned.  So  she  resolved  that  the  next  time  she  saw 
her  friend  she  would  have  the  riddle  solved,  and  that  she  would 
call  on  her  soon  for  that  very  purpose.  But  she  was  busy  all 
that  week  assisting  Miss  Margaret  with  the  children's  spring 
dresses,  and  the  next  it  rained  every  day.  In  fact,  after  Miss 
Martin's  departure,  she  had  almost  forgotten  the  circumstance, 
until  it  was  recalled  by  Miss  Barnard,  who  came  to  pay  her  a 
sociable  visit  the  first  day  of  fair  weather. 

What  was  her  surprise  at  learning  from  her  visitor,  that  the 
same  tale,  exaggerated,  and  "with  assurance  made  doubly  sure," 
by  real  or  pretended  confirmations,  was  the  popular  topic  of  dis- 
cussion throughout  Rivertown !  and  Miss  Barnard,  being  highly 
indignant,  revealed  Miss  Martin's  share  in  the  tale,  and  entreated 
Mrs.  Miller,  as  a  most  intimate  friend,  to  beg  that  Mrs.  Jorden 
would  discountenance  it  at  once.  That  very  afternoon,  as  soon 
as  Miss  Barnard  was  gone,  Mrs.  Miller  left  the  house  on  her 
friendly  errand. 


She  had  always  been  accustomed  to  enter  Mrs.  Jorden's  par- 
lours without  ringing  —  a  neighbourly  practice  called  "  running- 
in"  at  Rivertown — and  as  she  opened  the  hall-door,  she  entered 
the  more  confidently  as  she  heard  visitors  in  the  parlour.  She 
readily  understood  the  somewhat  extraordinary  scene  that  met 
her  view. 

Mrs.  Jorden  was  standing  with  a  coldly  dignified  air,  nearly 
in  the  centre  of  the  room ;  her  face  was  flushed  as  if  with  the 
struggle  of  overmastering  some  passionate  emotion;  and  her 
eyes  flashed  proudly,  as  she  said  to  the  ladies  who  were  about 

"  Allow  me  to  thank  you  for  the  kind  interest  you  take  in  my 
welfare ;  and,  at  the  same  time,  to  assure  you  that  I  consider  my 
husband  to  be  the  most  competent  guardian,  both  of  himself, 
and  of  our  domestic  affairs." 

Not  a  word  in  reply  from  the  two,  who  turned  so  hastily  that 
they  stumbled  upon  Mrs.  Miller,  who  stood  perfectly  quiet  with 
the  door-knob  still  in  her  hand. 

"Good  evening,  Mrs.  Harden,  Mrs.  Smith,"  said  she,  as  the 
ladies  recovered  themselves.  But  there  was  no  response,  for,  with 
unexampled  quickness,  they  had  hurried  past.  They  gained  the 
street  before  either  spoke  a  word,  and  then,  to  Mrs.  Harden's 
exclamation  of  "  Did  you  ever  ?  "  Mrs.  Smith  replied  with  equal 
solemnity  of  tone,  "  I  never  was  so  struck ! " 

"  After  I  took  the  trouble  to  go  and  tell  her,"  said  Mrs.  Har- 

"  Doing  our  duty  as  friends,"  said  Mrs.  Smith.  "  To  burst 
out  in  that  way!" 

"  I  saw  her  bite  her  lips  long  before  you  'd  got  through." 

"Well,  I've  done  my  part  by  her,  that's  all  I  can  say;"  and 


Mrs.  Harden  indignantly  twitched  her  unoffending  green  veil 
more  closely  over  her  face. 

But  to  return  to  Mrs.  Jorden,  who,  now  that  the  excitement 
of  the  moment  was  passed,  sobbed  like  a  child. 

"  I  can  easily  guess  the  meaning  of  all  this/'  said  Mrs.  Miller, 
as  she  sat  down  on  the  sofa,  and  put  her  arm  caressingly  about 
her  friend.  "  Mrs.  Harden  has  been  telling  you  what  you  should 
have  heard  from  me  a  week  since." 

"  She  has  been  impertinently  meddling  with  what  does  not  at 
all  concern  her,"  sobbed  Mrs.  Jorden. 

"But  I  know  the  whole  story,  Marian;  and,  indeed,  Mrs. 
Harden  is  not  the  only  person  who  thought  it  should  be  told  you, 
though  I  can  but  wish  it  had  been  done  by  any  one  else,  I  con- 
fess. What  is  her  version  of  the  matter  ?  " 

"  She  absolutely  told  me  that  the  whole  town  were  talking 
about  my  husband's  attentions  to  Mary  Butler;  and  that  some 
said  I  had  discovered  it,  and  was  horribly  jealous,  while  others 
pity  me,  it  seems,  as  being  quite  in  the  dark.  /  need  their  pity  ! 
My  good  neighbours  have  done  their  best  to  enlighten  me  now, 
at  any  rate." 

"  But  he  does  visit  there  a  great  deal." 

"  Yes ;  and  who  has  a  better  right  to  go  where  he  chooses  ?  " 

"  You  are  angry,  Marian,"  said  Mrs.  Miller,  calmly. 

"  Well,  I  confess  I  am ;  but  it  is  really  unbearable.  She  gavo 
me  the  whole  history  of  the  former  slanderous  tales,  from  which 
poor  Mary  suffered,  evidently  thinking  I  had  not  heard  how  vilo 
a  part  she  played." 

"  But  have  you  never  given  reason  for  any  one  to  say  you  were 
jealous  of  those  visits  to  Mary?" 

"  Never ! " 


"  Think  for  a  moment — Miss  Martin  was  sewing  for  you,  was 
she  not,  three  weeks  ago?" 

"  Yes ;  but  what  has  that  to  do  with  it  ?  Do  you  suppose  I 
made  her  my  confidant?" 

"  Do  not  be  unreasonable,  Marian.  Did  she  never  overhear 
anything  of  the  kind,  said  playfully,  or  otherwise  ?  " 

"  Overhear ! — is  it  possible  ! — does  Miss  Martin  play  the  eaves- 
dropper?" and,  as  if  a  new  light  had  flashed  upon  her,  Mrs. 
Jorden  was  suddenly  silent.  "  Yes — good — capital ! "  said  she, 
at  length,  and  the  cloud  of  ill-humour  suddenly  disappeared  from 
her  face.  "  Now  I  understand  it  all.  We  were  engaged  that 
very  evening  at  Mrs.  Butler's.  Mary  had  just  received  some  new 
music  from  New  York,  and  Henry  was  going  over  with  his  flute 
to  try  it;  I  had  promised  myself  a  nice  sociable  chat  with  her 
mother — you  know  they  very  often  practise  together.  I  wish  I 
did  love  music,  for  Henry's  sake." 


"  It  proved  to  be  a  fearfully  stormy  night.  So  much  so,  that 
Henry  went  home  with  Miss  Martin  himself;  it  was  not  fit  for 
a  woman  to  be  in  the  street." 

"  And,  of  course,  Mary  was  disappointed." 

"No,  not  entirely;  that's  the  very  point  in  question.  We 
were  talking  it  over  just  after  tea;  Henry  said  he  could  not 
endure  to  see  any  woman  go  out  alone  on  such  a  night ;  that  he 
thought  the  best  plan  was  to  take  her  home  himself,  and  stop  in 
at  Mrs.  Butler's  a  little  while  on  his  way  home.  I  said  playfully, 
'  Without  me  ?'  and  then  added,  in  the  same  tone,  '  You  give 
Mary  quite  too  much  of  your  precious  time.'  Henry's  rejoinder 
was  in  the  same  spirit.  'You're  only  jealous  of  my  walk  with 
Miss  Martin,  Marie.'  I  remember  distinctly  that  I  replied,  still 


laughing,  'No,  I'm  not  inclined  naturally  to  be  jealous;  but  she 
is  a  dangerous  companion  for  a  susceptible  youth.'  We  were 
standing  by  the  fire,  and  you  know  it 's  the  most  natural  thing 
in  the  world  for  Harry  to  put  his  arm  about  me,  standing  so  near. 
He  just  attempted  it,  when  I  heard  Miss  Martin  opening  the 
dining-room  door,  and  as  I  hate  endearments  before  people,  I 
pushed  his  arm  aside,  and  turned  to  answer  her  question.  Now 
there  's  the  whole  story — there 's  the  grand  foundation  of  Hen- 
ry's attentions  to  Mary  Butler,  and  my  jealousy/7 

Mrs.  Miller  laughed  heartily  at  the  idea  of  any  one's  being 
jealous  of  the  amiable  Miss  Martin;  but  yet  there  were  some 
things  still  unaccounted  for.  She  herself  had  witnessed  the 
reception  of  the  letter,  and  then  that  miniature !  But  other  visit- 
ors came  in,  and  as  it  was  nearly  dark,  Mrs.  Miller  soon  took 
leave,  resolving  to  have  a  perfect  explanation  at  some  future 

As  for  Mrs.  Jorden,  she  had  quite  recovered  her'good  humour, 
and  recounted  merrily  to  her  husband  the  particulars  of  the  after- 
noon embassy  from  the  "gossips  of  Rivertown."  At  first,  he 
was  inclined  to  be  very  angry,  but  after  a  little  thought,  came  to 
the  conclusion  the  tale  had  no  other  foundation,  and  had  been 
exaggerated  on  every  hand.  He,  too,  laughed  very  heartily  at 
Miss  Martin's  report  of  their  little  domestic  conversation. 

Early  next  morning,  Mrs.  Miller  was  greeted  by  a  visit  from 
her  friend.  She  had  been  thinking  over  all  that  had  occurred, 
and  at  last  came  to  the  conclusion  it  was  best  to  probe  the  wound 
thoroughly.  It  was  still  with  great  delicacy  and  hesitation  that 
she  confided  to  Marian  what  she  herself  had  seen,  and  the  story 
of  the  miniature.  What  was  her  surprise  at  finding  Mrs.  Jorden 
grow  more  and  more  amused  as  she  proceeded,  and,  at  last,  "  clap- 


ping  her  hands  for  very  glee."  Then  there  was  a  long  confiden- 
tial communication  between  the  two,  and  good  Mrs.  Miller  seemed 
to  enjoy  the  joke  as  much  as  her  friend;  so  much  so,  that  even 
after  Marian's  departure  an  unwonted  smile  would  now  and  then 
steal  over  her  face,  as  if  she  held 

"  The  secret  of  a  merry  jest 
She  did  not  care  to  speak." 


**  The  joy-bells  are  ringing, 

Oh,  come  to  the  church ; 
You  may  see  the  bride  pass, 
If  you  stand  in  the  porch." 

"  My  second  so  resembles  him, 
Most  people  think  them  twins." — BAYLY. 

CARCELY  three  weeks  from  Mrs.  Harden's  friendly 
call  upon  Mrs.  Jorden,  and  her  subsequent  uncere- 
monious  departure,  there  was  an  unusual  bustle 
^<3  throughout  all  Rivertown.  It  was  a  bright  spring 
day,  the  last  of  April,  and  from  the  majestic  river  that  swept 
proudly  past,  to  the  cloudless  sky  o'erhead,  all  was  tranquil, 
undisturbed  loveliness.  The  distant  mountains  seemed  to  have 
assumed  their  most  delicate  tint  of  azure,  the  neighbouring  foli- 
age its  freshest  green,  birds  sang,  and  crocuses  lifted  their  hardy 
blossoms  from  the  sheltering  leaves.  Every  one  pronounced  it 
"a  perfect  day." 

Harriot  Harden  sat  by  an  open  window,  altering  the  arrange- 


ment  of  some  bows  upon  a  new  straw  bonnet,  which  had  come 
home  the  night  before.  She  too  rejoiced  in  the  loveliness  of  the 
day,  for  she  thought  if  it  continued  so  mild,  she  might  venture 
to  exhibit  it  that  very  afternoon.  The  "  face  flowers  "  had  been 
pinned  in  for  the  tenth  time  at  least,  and  as  she  paused  before 
the  little  mirror  to  observe  the  increased  effect,  the  door  was 
hurriedly  thrown  open,  and  Mrs.  Smith,  quite  out  of  breath, 

"  Put  on  your  bonnet  this  minute,"  was  her  first  salutation, 
without  stopping  to  see  that  such  a  command  was  quite  uncalled 
for,  "  and  come  with  me  up  to  the  church.  There 's  going  to  be 
a  wedding  there  this  morning." 

"For  goodness  sake,  who  is  it?" 

"  Nobody  knows  —  it 's  the  queerest  thing  in  the  world.  It 
seems  Adeline  was  going  by,  about  a  quarter  of  an  hour  ago,  and 
seeing  the  door  opened,  she  looked  in.  There  was  nobody  there 
but  Benton,  the  sexton,  and  she  asked  him  how  it  happened  ? 
He  looked  vexed  enough,  for  a  minute  or  two,  and  then  said  there 
was  to  be  a  wedding  there  at  nine  o'clock;  but  he  couldn't  tell 
who  was  going  to  be  married.  Add  tried  to  get  it  out  of  him, 
but  the  old  fellow  kept  his  secret.  It's  ten  minutes  of  nine 
now,  so  hurry.  Where 's  your  mother  ?  " 

Not  far  off,  as  you  might  suppose ;  so  both  mother  and  daugh- 
ter sallied  forth  on  the  instant,  and  strange  to  say,  they  met 
more  people  on  the  way  than  had  ever  been  known  to  collect  for 
anything  short  of  a  Fourth  of  July  fire  company  procession. 
Others  than  Adeline  Mitchell  must  have  seen  the  church-door 

Our  readers  need  not  suppose,  from  the  application  of  the  defi- 
nite article,  that  this  was  the  only  church  in  RiveTtown.  There 


were  the  Presbyterian,  the  Dutch-Reformed,  the  Baptist,  Metho- 
dist, and  Universalist — meeting  houses  they  were  called — and  the 
Roman  Catholics  held  monthly  services  in  the  old  masonic  lodge. 
But  the  building,  towards  which  so  many  were  hastening,  was 
owned  by  the  Episcopalians,  and  so  known  only  as  the  church, 
par  excellence,  though  its  baptismal  name  was  Trinity. 

Up  the  high  steps  of  this  neat  and  most  comfortable  edifice 
many  a  group  was  passing,  by  the  time  the  Hardens  came  in 
sight,  mostly  composed  of  ladies  and  school-girls,  who  had 
diverged  from  their  proper  path  to  the  "Female  Seminary," 
attracted  by  the  rumour  of  a  wedding  near  at  hand.  The  square 
old-fashioned  pews  filled  first — from  them  you  could  see  and  not 
be  seen — but  many  a  face  looked  out  from  the  central  aisles  as 
the  bridal  party  passed  up  its  length.  There  had  been  a  few 
moments  of  anxious  suspense;  but  soon  Mrs.  Jorden,  her  hus- 
band, Mr.  and  Mrs.  Jackson,  Mrs.  Miller,  Miss  Barnard,  and 
several  familiar  faces,  were  successively  recognized. 

But  who  was  the  bride  ?  Nobody  could  see  her  face,  for  she 
kept  her  veil  down  until  she  reached  the  chancel.  A  moment's 
reverent  pause,  during  which  Adeline  Mitchell  took  the  oppor- 
tunity to  whisper  that  Mr.  Jorden  was  standing  next  the  bride 
— "how  odd;"  and  Harriet  motioned  back  for  her  to  keep  still, 
or  else  that  it  was  n't  him,  she  could  n't  tell  which. 

Then  came  the  address  to  the  congregation,  the  solemn  charge 
to  those  about  to  take  these  most  fearful  vows  upon  themselves. 

"Now  we  shall  know,"  whispered  Mrs.  Smith  to  Harriet; 
but,  unfortunately,  that  very  whisper  prevented  her  hearing  the 
names  of  the  parties.  Again,  a  manly  voice  followed  the  guid- 
ance of  their  pastor. 

Harriet  could  have  screamed  with  impatience,  for  a  little  girl 


in  the  next  pew  tripped  over  the  stool  on  which  she  was  mounted, 
and  came  down  with  a  crash,  just  as  the  names  were  pronounced. 
But  at  that  moment  a  gentle,  but  untrembKng  voice,  said — "  I, 
Mary,  take  thee,  Carroll,  to  be  my  wedded  husband." 

Harriet  heard  not  another  word ;  it  was  Mary  Butler's  voice ; 
Mr.  Jorden's'brother  was  the  bridegroom !  All  was  reeling  about 
her.  The  party  at  the  altar,  the  eager  spectators,  the  solid  pillars 
of  the  church  themselves,  seemed  dancing  before  her.  When 
she  recovered  from  her  swoon-like  astonishment,  the  benediction 
had  been  pronounced,  and  the  bride,  never  so  beautiful  as  now, 
turned  from  the  chancel. 

There  were  smiles  and  congratulations  among  the  happy  party ; 
Mrs.  Butler  looking  younger  by  ten  years,  Mrs.  Harry  Jorden 
casting  triumphant,  and  almost  withering  glances  towards  the 
party  she  had  just  discovered  in  Mr.  Mitchell's  pew.  Then  they 
passed  slowly  down  the  aisle,  so  near,  that  Mary's  bridal  veil 
almost  touched  Harriet's  face,  and  as  the  young  husband  turned 
to  rearrange  it,  she  started  to  see  how  nearly  he  resembled  his  bro- 
ther. The  same  eyes,  the  same  smile ;  but  for  a  slight  difference 
in  height,  they  might  have  been  mistaken  for  each  other. 

"  I  cannot  believe  my  own  eyes/'  said  Mrs.  Harden,  as  the 
group  stood  on  the  church  steps  and  watched  the  carriage  drive 

"  Nor  I,"  echoed  Mrs.  Smith. 

"  How  did  she  ever  manage  to  keep  it  so  still  ? "  continued 
the  elder  lady. 

"I  don't  see." 

"Nor  I,"  said  Mrs.  Smith,  again. 


"  He  was  adopted  by  his  uncle,  Carroll  Livingston,  when  he 
was  a  perfect  child." 

"Then  they  went  to  Europe,  you  know." 
"Yes;  and  he  got  back  just  in  time  for  Henry's  wedding,  Mrs. 

"  Mary  Butler  was  first  bridesmaid,  and  that 's  how  it  all  hap- 
pened. Don't  you  remember  Mrs.  Jackson  told  us  he  had  to  go 
right  on  to  Baltimore,  and  couldn't  come  up  to  her  party?" 

"  So  she  did ;  but  they  were  together  two  weeks  in  New  York, 
and  she  was  there  so  long  last  fall,  you  know,  where  their  busi- 
ness was  being  settled.  They  say  all  his  letters  came  directed  to 
his  brother." 

"That's  so  we  shouldn't  find  it  out,  I'll  warrant." 
"He's   immensely  rich,  Mrs.  Harden;  his  uncle  is  an  old 
bachelor,  you  know.     I've  heard  they  live  in  splendid  style." 

"  That  old  gentleman  with  Mrs.  Butler  must  have  been  his 
uncle,  then ;  and  they  must  be  the  passengers  John  saw  come 
off  the  day-boat  yesterday." 
"  The  luck  of  some  people ! " 

"Yes,"  and  Mrs.  Harden  sighed  deeply,  as  she  thought  Har- 
riet was  not  included  in  that  fortunate  class. 

That  amiable,  and  now  thoroughly  mortified  young  lady,  had 
walked  off  in  a  confidential  chat  with  Adeline;  after  having 
.  ascertained  from  a  mutual  acquaintance  that  the  bridal  party  were 
all  going  off  in  the  day.-boat,  and  that  Mrs.  Butler  was  going  to 
live  with  Mary  in  Baltimore.  No  telegraphic  dispatch  of  the 
"latest  advices  per  steamer,"  ever  sped  with  more  rapidity  than 
every  conceivable  rumour,  with  regard  to  the  morning's  surprise, 
was  published. 


"  That  must  have  been  his  brother's  miniature,  after  all,  Ade- 
line," said  Harriet,  trying  to  look  unconcerned. 

"  I  always  knew  you  ran  before  you  were  sent.  You  Ve  got 
mo  into  a  pretty  fuss." 

"  How  colild  I  help  it  ?  how  did  I  know  to  the  contrary  ?  and 
you  said  quite  as  much  about  it  as  I  did." 

"  I  did  n't  say  half  as  much.  Moreover,  I  don't  read  other 
people's  letters." 

Miss  Harden  did  not  venture  to  speak,  but  she  gave  a  look  of 
indignation  and  contempt  that  might  have  withered  any  one,  had 
it  been  deserved.  Miss  Mitchell  vouchsafed  no  word  in  reply, 
but  coolly  walked  down  the  next  street,  without  so  much  as  bow- 

From  that  day  there  was  enmity  between  the  houses  of  Harden 
and  Mitchell ;  and  from  that  day  Mary  Butler  was  envied  by  the 
"gossips  of  Rivertown." 

Mrs.  Henry  Jorden  never  passed  Mrs.  Harden  and  Mrs.  Smith 
without  a  peculiar  smile;  and  Mrs.  Margaret  Martin  fitted  no 
more  dresses  in  her  house  thenceforth. 




"  I  feel  the  shadow  on  my  brow, 
The  sickness  at  my  heart — 
Alas !  I  look  on  those  I  love, 
And  'tis  so  hard  to  part." 

HE  summer  passed  as  summers  had  done  in  River- 
town  for  the  last  ten  years  at  least.  There  was  one 
^  /  evening  party,  two  pic-nics,  and  a  wedding,  to  vary 
the  monotony.  Two  families,  the  Bays  and  the 
Barnards,  visited  Niagara,  to  the  scandal  of  those  who  wondered 
how  they  could  afford  it,  and  Miss  Seymour  joined  the  party  of  a 
relative  residing  in  New  York,  and  passed  two  weeks  at  Newport. 
Miss  Seymour  became,  for  a  while,  quite  the  rage,  for  she  had 
dined  with  Daniel  Webster,  on  which  occasion  the  distinguished 

authoress,  Mrs. ,  sat  opposite  to  her,  and  Senator  S.  was 

pointed  out  after  dinner.  Miss  Seymour  did  not  usually  mention 
that  this  was  at  the  "ladies'  ordinary"  of  the  Revere  House; 
probably  she  thought  this  was  "  not  for  them  to  know."  But 
if  she  was  not  a  lion  herself,  she  had  seen  lions,  and  consequently 
had  innumerable  calls  and  visits  shortly  after  her  return. 

Then  a  family  from  New  York  had  been  boarding  at  the 
"  Rivertown  House/'  and  their  out-comings  and  in-goings  offered 
some  relief.  Moreover,  the  Forresters,  from  Albany,  had  passed 


two  months  at  their  country-house,  a  mile  or  two  below  the  town, 
and  several  times  their  carriage,  with  its  liveried  coachman,  had 
gathered  its  crowd  of  admirers  at  the  street  corners  and  shop  win- 
dows. Not  a  few  Bivertonians  visited  their  country  relatives  in 
July  and  August,  and  others  among  the  first  circle  paid  similar 
family  visits  in  New  England  or  the  Middle  States.  Journeys 
that  from  henceforth  became  data — "  the  year  that  I  went  to  Con- 
necticut," or  "  the  spring  we  were  getting  ready  to  go  to  New 
Jersey,"  being  often  and  particularly  alluded  to. 

Bivertonians  in  general  were  not  a  migratory  people ;  one  trip 
to  New  York  city,  and  two  as  far  as  Albany,  often  sufficing  for 
life-time  adventures.  Many  of  "the  oldest  inhabitants  could  never 
be  persuaded  to  "  court  peril "  in  the  wake  of  the  rushing  loco- 
motive, and  not  a  few  had  never  set  foot  upon  a  steamboat,  though 
numberless  were  the  elegant  vessels  that  passed  their  wharves 
daily,  preferring  the  more  tardy,  but  in  their  eyes  far  safer  con- 
veyance of  a  "sloop,"  did  occasion  require  them  to  visit  the 

Among  our  acquaintances,  the  travelling  fever,  this  particular 
season,  seemed  contagious.  Miss  Barnard,  as  we  have  before  said, 
visited  Niagara,  as  did  the  Jacksons  and  the  Jordens,  joining  a 
party  made  up  by  the  uncle  of  the  Jordens,  Livingston  Carroll, 
Esq.  Adeline  Mitchell  had  passed  several  weeks  with  a  married 
sister  who  resided  in  Dutchess  County,  and  the  Hardens  went  as 
far  as  Stockbridge,  in  quite  an  opposite  .direction.  But  the 
summer  was  over ;  September  found  all  once  more  at  home,  and 
fall  house-cleanings  rapidly  progressing.  Mrs.  Henry  Jorden 
was  packing,  or  rather  covering  furniture ;  Adeline  Mitchell  could 
not  guess  what  for,  until  it  was  reported  that  the  house  was  to  be 
shut  up  in  October,  and  the  Jordens  were  to  pass  the  ensuing 


winter  with  their  brother  at  Baltimore.  Mr.  Jorden  had  business 
at  Washington,  which  would  detain  him  most  of  the  time,  and 
thus  the  arrangement  became  not  only  pleasant,  but  advisable. 

Yet  Mrs.  Smith  and  Miss  Mitchell  would  continue  to  call  it 
airs  and  extravagance,  while  Mrs.  Folger  wondered  "  if  they 
would  pay  board  ;  if  not,  it  was  a  saving."  Mrs.  Jackson  alone 
regretted  the  change.  She  was  still,  comparatively,  a  stranger 
in  Rivertown,  as  they  had  resided  there  but  a  few  years.  She 
had  never  been  particularly  fond  of  the  place  or  the  people,  and 
but  that  Mr.  Jackson's  presence  was  absolutely  necessary  near 
his  large  and  flourishing  manufactory,  would  never  have  consented 
even  to  a  temporary  residence  there.  This  feeling  had,  in  a 
measure,  worn  away,  as  she  came  to  know  and  appreciate  the  warm 
hearts  of  those  who  won  her  own  by  their  friendly  courtesy ;  and 
at  the  time  of  her  sister's  marriage  she  began  to  look  with  some- 
thing like  satisfaction  upon  Rivertown  as  a  home. 

"  It  will  bo  very  lonely,  Marian,"  said  she,  the  evening  before 
their  departure ;  "  Mary  and  yourself  both  away — but  I  know 
it  will  be  pleasanter  for  you,  and  I  will  try  to  be  as  happy  as 
possible  without  you." 

Mrs.  Jorden  "rejoiced  that  she  was  of  enough  consequence  to 
be  missed,"  and,  laughingly,  added — "  But  then  your  particular 
friends,  Mrs.  Harden  and  Mrs.  Folger,  will  still  be  with  you,  and 
I  have  no  doubt  Mrs.  Smith  will  be  neighbourly." 

"  Do  not  jest  to-night  Marian,"  sadly  returned  her  sister.  "  I 
have  been  strangely  troubled  from  the  time  Mary  proposed  this 
long  separation.  You  know  I  have  no  faith  in  presentiments, 
but  I  have  felt  as  if  we  should  never  meet  again ;  or,  if  we  did, 
not  happily.  Sometimes  I  think  Archie,  my  precious  one,  may 
be  taken  from  me ;  but  that  thought  is  too  terrible.  If  I  should 


die  this  winter,  Marie,  be  as  a  sister  and  a  mother  to  the  dear 
ones  I  must  leave" 

"  My  best  of  sisters,  pray  do  not  say  such  horrid  things/'  was 
the  reply.  "  Are  you  not  as  well  as  ever  ?  and  Archie  I  never 
saw  in  better  spirits." 

Mrs.  Jackson  called  the  noble  little  fellow  to  her,  and  parting 
the  thick  waves  of  his  hair,  looked  long  and  earnestly  into  his 
deep  blue  eyes.  So  earnestly,  that  the  boy  was  alarmed,  and 
begged  to  go  back  to  Uncle  Henry,  who  had  promised  to  let  him 
ride  upon  Nero;  and  Marian  said — 

"  Yes,  run  away,  pet,  mamma  is  not  well.  Dear  sister,  do  not 
frighten  us  all  by  these  dismal  forebodings." 

Mrs.  Jackson  felt  that  it  was  selfish  thus  to  obtrude  sad 
thoughts  on  their  parting;  and,  to  tell  the  truth,  the  shadow 
passed  as  the  firm  tread  and  manly  tone  of  her  husband  gave 
warning  of  his  approach.  So  the  last  evening  glided  away  in 
mirth  and  song ;  for  Mr.  Jackson  was  never  known  to  be  more 
brilliant  than  now,  pouring  out  sparkling  anecdotes  and  unstudied 
Ion  mots,  without  thought  or  effort.  Archie  was  allowed  to 
stay  up  long  past  his  usual  bed-time,  as  he  was  an  especial  favourite 
with  "  Uncle  Harry,"  and  Mrs.  Jackson  sang  old  songs  they  had 
long  known  and  loved. 

Yes,  it  was  a  very  merry  evening ;  and  yet  when  Mrs.  Jack- 
son bade  them  good  night,  and  came  back  to  the  warmly  lighted 
parlour,  a  strange  chill  darted  like  an  ice-bolt  through  her  heart, 
and  she  leaned  her  head  upon  her  husband's  shoulder  and  wept. 

He  chided  her  gently,  even  while  he  drew  her  more  closely  to 
his  heart,  for  she  told  him  it  was  not  simple  sorrow  at  their 
transient  separation.  And  then  he  led  her  to  the  couch  where 
her  child  slumbered  peacefully,  and  bade  her  mark  how  ruddy 


was  the  glow  upon  his  cheek,  and  how  gently  the  drapery  about 
him  was  stirred  by  the  quiet  heaving  of  his  little  form. 

"  What  3an  come  to  disturb  the  happiness  of  our  little  house- 
hold ?  "  said  her  husband,  fondly ;  but  even  as  she  smiled  through 
her  tears,  the  echo  in  her  heart  whispered  "  Death ! " 


"  She  is  leaning  back  now  languid, 

And  her  cheek  is  white ; 
Only  on  the  drooping  eyelash, 

Glistens  tearful  light, 
Cold,  sunshine,  hours  are  gone, 

Yet  the  lady  watches  on." — L.  E.  L. 

OR  several  weeks  after  the  departure  of  Mrs.  Jorden, 
nothing  occurred  to  realize  even  the  lightest  of  Mrs. 
Jackson's  sad  forebodings.  The  gorgeous  autumn 
landscape  slowly  cast  aside  its  wealth  of  golden  and 
crimson  foliage,  the  summits  of  the  Catskills  became  more  sharply 
defined  against  the  clear  blue  sky,  and  so  winter  was  at  the  very 
door  ere  his  approach  was  suspected. 

There  is  nothing  more  desolate  than  the  streets  of  a  small 
country  town,  in  a  northern  latitude,  at  the  close  of  the  fall. 
The  sidewalks  are  carpeted  with  withered  leaves  that  rustle  to  the 
footsteps  of  the  few  passers-by;  a  cloud  of  dust  obscures  the 
vision,  while  the  slowly  creaking  signs  and  flapping  shutters  are 
in  melancholy  and  discordant  union.  Little  children  hurry  to 
and  from  school,  with  well-worn  dinner  baskets  and  faded  hoods  j 


the  solitary  strips  of  red  flannel  or  dark  broad-cloth,  that  have 
taken  the  place  of  the  merchant's  flaunting  display  of  summer 
fabrics,  shiver  in  the  chill  blast ;  and  the  few  baskets  of  withered 
apples  and  dark-coated  chestnuts,  that  still  linger  around  the 
doors  of  the  various  provision  stores,  grow  darker  and  more 
shrunken  as  the  week  slips  slowly  by.  The  mellow  radiance  of 
the  Indian  summer  has  departed,  the  morning  sun  has  scarcely 
power  to  dissolve  the  last  night's  frost,  and  the  wayside  pools  are 
skirted  with  a  brittle  coating  of  ice.  Now  and  then  a  large  farm 
wagon  creaks  slowly  down  the  street;  once  or  twice  through  the 
day  the  whirl  of  a  lighter  vehicle  tells  you  that  the  physician  is 
speeding  on  his  errand  of  mercy  j  but  otherwise  the  silence  is 
rarely  disturbed.  The  sky  grows  dark  as  evening  draws  on,  not 
with  heaped  and  threatening  clouds,  but  a  leaden,  heavy,  impene- 
trable pall  sweeps  slowly  over  the  horizon. 

It  was  on  such  a  day  as  this  that  Mrs.  Jackson  turned  shiver- 
ingly  from  the  door-step  of  her  comfortable  and  peaceful  home. 
She  had  accompanied  her  husband  a  little  way  on  his  morning 
walk,  and  had  parted  with  a  fond  pressure  of  the  hand,  and  a 
glance  that  told  him  how  dearer  than  life  he  had  become.  Archie 
was  playfully  careering  round  the  room  with  the  hearth-brush  for 
a  steed,  and  the  kitten  purred  in  undisturbed  repose  before  the 
glowing  grate. 

She  drew  her  work-basket  towards  her,  and,  lying  on  the  piles 
of  snowy  linen,  found  an  unopened  letter,  received  in  her  absence. 
It  was  from  Marian,  and  bore  the  impress  of  her  joyous  spirit  in 
every  line.  They  were  all  so  happy,  and  needed  but  her  presence 
to  make  that  happiness  complete.  Mrs.  Butler  was  at  the  head 
of  their  elegant  mansion,  and  Mr.  Carroll  grew  daily  more  fond 
of  his  adopted  daughter,  who  had  already  won  for  herself  hosts 


of  new  friends.  They  were  to  go  to  "Washington  in  January, 
and  Marian  descanted  at  length  on  the  pleasures  she  expected  to 

Mrs.  Jackson  allowed  the  letter  to  fall  upon  the  carpet,  as  she 
mused  over  its  contents.  "  How  can  people  plan  for  the  future?" 
thought  she ;  and  then,  vexed  at  herself  for  her  own  gloomy  mood, 
she  called  Archie  to  her,  and  resolutely  threw  it  aside  as  she 
listened  to  his  childish  prattle.  Mr.  Jackson  very  rarely  returned 
until  nightfall,  these  short,  cold  days,  as  the  manufactory  was  a 
mile  or  two  distant,  upon  a  small  stream  that  paid  its  gentle  tri- 
bute to  their  beautiful  river.  So  the  mid-day  meal  was  solitary; 
and  after  it  was  over,  Mrs.  Miller  paid  a  friendly  visit  of  an  hour 
or  two,  and  they  chatted  together  of  the  absent  ones.  The  cold, 
grey  clouds  were  already  veiling  the  setting  sun  as  her  visitor 
took  her  leave,  and  with  cheerful  alacrity  Mrs.  Jackson  began  to 
prepare  for  her  husband's  return :  —  the  hearth  nicely  swept, 
the  easy-chair  in  its  cosiest  corner,  the  dressing-gown  thrown 
over  it,  and  the  slippers,  embroidered  by  her  own  hand,  basking 
in  the  fire-light.  -Through  a  half-open  door  the  neat  tea-table 
was  seen,  and  Archie,  with  his  soft  curls  dancing  to  his  restless 
motion,  was  busied  in  assisting,  or  rather  delaying  a  tidy  servant 
girl  in  its  arrangement. 

Nothing  could  be  more  cheerful  or  more  home-like,  and  Mrs. 
Jackson  cast  a  look  of  satisfaction  over  all,  as  she  sat  down  at  the 
window  to  catch  the  first  glimpse  of  the  returning  husband  and 
father.  Slowly  the  twilight  deepened  over  the  already  silent 
streets.  Then  lights  flashed  from  the  opposite  windows,  and  a 
glare  for  the  moment  filled  the  room  as  a  torch  was  applied  to 
the  street-lamp  on  the  corner.  It  was  very  strange  that  Mr. 
Jackson  did  not  come  ! 


Another  half  hour  passed,  the  room  was  quite  dark,  for  she 
would  not  have  the  lamp  lighted  until  he  should  arrive.  Then 
Archie  began  fretting  for  his  supper,  and,  at  last,  she  was  obliged 
to  leave  her  watch  to  quiet  the  impatient  child.  Again  the  clock 
struck  slowly  and  distinctly  j  every  stroke  sounded  like  a  knell. 
An  undefined  superstitious  fear  crept  over  her — oh  !  there  was  a 
step  at  last.  But  it  was  not  he;  only  a  message  from  some 
friendly  neighbour.  Eight — nine  o'clock  struck.  Archie  had 
been  quietly  sleeping  an  hour  or  two ;  still  she  was  alone,  and 
undefined  terror  began  to  shape  itself.  Then  she  tried  to  smile 
at  her  own  fears ;  he  had  found  business  to  detain  him — perhaps 
he  had  met  a  friend.  She  tried  to  play,  but  closed  the  instru- 
ment ere  the  melody  was  half  completed ;  and  so  she  sat,  at  last, 
cowering  over  the  fire  that  now  burned  dimly,  while  the  minutes 
passed  like  years. 

A  sound  broke  the  stillness ;  there  was  a  carriage  coming  ra- 
pidly up  the  street — what  could  it  mean  ?  It  paused  before  the 
door  of  a  physician  residing  near  them,  and  then  at  their  own. 
A  stranger  sprang  upon  the  pavement — another — and  then  she 
saw  they  were  lifting  out  a  helpless,  rigid  form. 

The  truth  came  to  her  with  a  shock  —  she  felt  it  all ;  but  the 
scream  that  rose  to  her  lips  found  no  utterance,  only  a  low  moan 
as  she  motioned  them  to  bear  their  burden  into  that  once  cheerful 
parlour.  She  felt  the  hand  of  their  family  physician  upon  her 
shoulder ;  but  she  had  knelt  beside  the  sofa,  and  had  found  the 
heart  that  once  thrilled  so  warmly.  There  was  no  pulse  —  not 
even  a  low  flutter.  Yes !  —  yes  !  —  faint  as  a  wounded  bird's, 
the  life-pulse  thrilled  to  her  hand;  then,  for  the  first  time,  she 
spoke.  She  looked  up  to  the  pitying  eye  of  the  friend  who  bent 
over  her,  and  murmured — 


"  My  husband  is  not  dead  —  no,  not  dead  !  You  can  save 

She  did  not  even  ask  what  had  stricken  him  so  from  high 
health.  A  glance  had  told  her  all.  The  damp,  heavy  masses 
of  hair  that  clung  to  the  pallid  face,  the  cloak  wrapped  loosely 
about  those  clinging  garments.  There  was  no  need  of  words. 

Through  that  long,  fearful  night,  hope  and  despair  came  alter- 
nately to  those  faithful  attendants.  Not  for  an  instant  could  the 
wife  be  persuaded  to  leave  the  room.  She  chafed  the  rigid  hands, 
she  pressed  the  death-like  form  closely  to  her,  as  if  her  own  beat- 
ing, throbbing  heart  could  inspire  it  with  new  life.  Still  those 
marble  lids  unclosed  not,  and  no  breath  stirred  the  wan  lips. 
"  Speak  to  me,  my  husband,  once  more !  One  smile  —  one 
pressure  of  the  hand!"  But  there  came  no  answer  to  those 
wailing  cries. 

Then  the  first  struggling  beam  of  the  new  day  stole  into  the 
room.  The  fire  had  gone  out,  the  lamps  flickered  coldly,  and  a 
more  terrible  pallor  settled  upon  that  still,  pale  face. 

A  woman's  voice  said,  "  There  is  no  hope !  Dead  ! — dead  ! — 
my  husband  is  dead  .'"  And  then  came  a  fearful  burst  of  sobs 
and  agonized  wailing,  that  rent  the  very  heart  of  the  kind  man 
who  tried  in  vain  to  comfort  her.  He  had  little  consolation  to 
offer;  she  had  spoken  truly — there  was  no  hope. 



"  Tossing  through  the  restless  night, 
Sleep  banish'd  from  her  pillow,  and  her  brain 
Weary  with  sense  of  dull  and  stifling  pain, 
Yearning  and  praying  for  the  blessed  light." 

ROM  the  deep  stupour  of  despair  that  followed,  even 
the  quick  tread  and  anxious  inquiries  of  those  that 
came  to  proffer  assistance  and  sympathy,  at  first 
failed  to  rouse  her.  The  terrible  news  sped 
like  wildfire  through  the  town,  and  an  hour  after  daybreak, 
a  little  crowd  was  gathered  before  the  door  to  know  if  such 
fearful  tidings  could  be  true.  There  they  learned,  from  Dr. 
Chester,  that  Mr.  Jackson,  being  detained  much  later  than 
usual,  had  attempted  to  cross  a  narrow  plank  thrown  over  a  part 
of  the  basin  formed  by  the  stream  just  below  the  factory,  to  save 
going  round  by  the  larger  bridge.  It  was  quite  dark,  and  missing 
a  step,  he  was  precipitated  into  the  ice-cold  pool.  His  involun- 
tary cry  brought  speedy  assistance ;  but  ere  he  could  be  rescued, 
the  chill  and  the  struggle  had  exhausted  him,  and  though  life 
was  not  quite  extinct,  he  seemed  rapidly  sinking.  No  medical 
assistance  being  at  hand,  and  the  overseer  of  the  works  absent, 
the  men  who  rescued  him  made  a  few  unsuccessful  attempts  to 
restore  suspended  animation,  and  then,  in  their  terror,  could  think 
of  no  alternative  but  hurrying  into  the  town.  Had  proper  assist- 
ance been  at  once  obtained,  the  fatal  catastrophe  might,  perhaps, 


have  been  averted ;  but  by  the  time  his  home  was  reached,  life 
was  ebbing  fast,  and  aid  was  all  in  vain. 

For  the  first  time  since  his  recollection,  little  Archie  awoke 
and  did  not  find  his  mother  near  him.  His  gentle  call  of 
"Mamma!  mamma!"  had  no  response:  frightened,  he  knew 
not  why,  he  slipped  from  his  crib  and  crept  softly  into  the  next 
room.  There  was  a  gentleman  standing  near  his  mamma,  who 
was  lying  upon  the  bed  moaning,  now  and  then,  but  with  her 
eyes  closed  as  if  asleep.  "Where  is  my  papa?"  said  the  little 
fellow,  timidly.  The  gentleman  did  not  answer  him,  but  lifted 
him  to  the  side  of  his  mother,  and  motioned  him  to  awake  her. 

"  Wake  up,  dear  mamma — tell  me  where  my  father  is,"  sobbed 
the  child,  now  terribly  frightened  at  the  unusual  sight.  At  first, 
Mrs.  Jackson  did  not  seem  to  know  who  had  spoken,  but  as  she 
felt  those  little  arms  clasping  her  neck,  that  soft  cheek  nestling 
by  her  own,  she  pressed  her  child  convulsively  to  her  heart,  and 
murmured — 

"  My  fatherless  little  one,  God  help  us  both  !" 

The  kind  physician  stole  softly  away ;  his  object  was  accom- 
plished, for  he  felt  that  if  once  roused,  there  was  no  danger  but 
that  the  strong  mind  and  the  mother's  heart  would  rise  above  her 
sorrow.  Nor  was  he  mistaken.  From  that  moment  a  calmness 
that  would  have  been  fearful  in  a  less  resolute  nature,  seemed  to 
take  possession  of  her.  She  entered  once  more  upon  the  duties 
of  actual  life,  that  must  be  performed  even  though  the  heart  is 
breaking.  In  a  small  household  there  is  much  that  only  its 
mistress  can  properly  direct ;  and  in  the  country  there  are  many 
things  connected  with  an  event  like  that  just  recorded,  which 
cannot  be  performed  by  hirelings,  as  in  the  city,  where  even 
death  is  made  a  source  of  traffic  and  of  gain. 


Much  assistance  was  proffered,  but  she  rejected  all  save  such 
as  was  absolutely  necessary.  Dr.  Chester  was  her  adviser,  and 
through  him  she  made  every  necessary  arrangement  for  the 

Weak  minds,  who  shrink  from  responsibility,  or  those  residing 
where  custom  forbids  such  a  fearful  task,  little  know  how  much 
minute  agony  is  spared  them.  They  can  retire  to  the  room 
recently  gladdened  by  the  presence  of  the  lost  one,  and  weep  in 
silence  over  their  sorrow.  They  watch,  perhaps,  by  the  still, 
cold  form,  but  know  not  whose  hand  has  arrayed  it  for  the  bridal 
of  the  grave,  or  by  whom  it  shall  be  consigned  to  that  last  resting- 
place.  A  man,  pompous  in  the  habitual  sadness  he  must  needs 
assume,  passes  here  and  there  about  the  house  with  a  tread  so 
softened  that  it  has  become  almost  stealthy.  It  is  he  who 
arranges  every  thing ;  the  undertaker,  whose  very  presence,  even 
in  a  crowded  street,  brings  a  chill  to  those  whom  the  death  of 
friends  has  made  terribly  familiar  with  his  solemn  bearing. 

Far  different  was  the  task  of  her  so  suddenly  widowed.  The 
most  minute  detail  passed  before  her  notice ;  she  was  not  even 
left  to  watch  alone  beside  her  dead.  Visitors  from  curiosity,  and 
those  who  came  to  sympathize  truly,  were  constantly  thronging 
in  to  question,  to  advise,  and  to  console.  Again,  and  again,  each 
harrowing  circumstance  was  recounted  and  commented  on.  More 
than  once  was  she  tortured  by  well  meant,  but  really  unkind  re- 
grets, as — "  If  there  had  only  been  some  one  there  who  under- 
stood what  ought  to  have  been  done  ! "  "  Don't  you  think  if 
Dr.  Chester  could  have  seen  him  at  first,  he  might  have  been 
alive  now?"  "  Are  you  sure  that  everything  was  tried?  I've 
heard  that  people  have  come  to,  hours  after  the  doctor  had  given 
them  up."  And  when  all  this  was  met  with  a  calm,  sad  cold- 


ness,  that  many  called  indifference,  the  good  people  wondered 
how  she  could  feel  "so  resigned?' 

They  little  knew  what  an  effort  that  very  calmness  cost.  That 
more  than  once  a  shriek  had  risen  to  those  untrembling  lips  as 
some  fearful  recollection  came ;  a  shriek  that  would  have  betrayed 
all  the  pent-up  agony  of  that  lonely,  lonely  heart ;  but  was  check- 
ed and  stifled  even  when  bursting  forth.  They  had  not  seen  her 
Bobbing  like  a  child  when  first  she  met  the  few  friends  to  whom 
her  proud  nature  had  yielded  all  love  and  confidence ;  nor  did 
they  know  how  often,  during  the  long  sleepless  nights,  she 
pressed  her  child  with  a  grasp  of  fear  close  and  closer  to  her 
heart,  while  her  lips  murmured  prayers  for  strength  and  fortitude, 
or  sobbed,  brokenly,  the  name  of  him  who  no  longer  could  return 
her  tenderness.  "A  stranger  in  a  strange  land"  alone  knows 
the  fulness  of  desolation,  when  those  who  made  that  exile  home, 
have  been  taken.  "  Miserable  comforters  are  ye  all,"  is  the 
heart's  involuntary  language,  as  it  yearns  for  a  mother's  kiss,  a 
sister's  tenderness.  And  so  this  outward  calmness  would  prob- 
ably have  passed  away,  could  Marian's  arms  have  been  twined 
about  her.  Orphaned  from  childhood,  they  had  loved  each  other 
with  a  deep  devotion,  and  now  in  her  loneliness,  there  came  an 
almost  fearful  longing  to  hear  that  sister's  gentle  voice. 

Archie,  with  his  childish  grief,  and  smiles  that  came  in  its  very 
midst,  was  her  greatest  consolation  His  father's  brow,  his 
glancing  smile,  at  times  but  increased  her  pain,  and  again  she 
would  say,  "Arthur,  you  cannot  be  taken  from  me  wholly  while 
your  son  shall  live."  Strange  as  it  seemed  to  some,  she  rarely 
entered  the  room  where  lay  that  lifeless  form.  The  rigid  out- 
lines, the  fearful  pallor,  brought  back  every  event  of  the  fearful 
night,  never  to  be  erased  from  her  memory.  She  felt  that  all 


strength  would  desert  her,  that  she  should  go  mad,  if  she  dwelt 
upon  these  things,  and  so  turned  back  even  when  her  hand  was 
upon  the  door.  For  the  sake  of  her  child,  she  had  resolved  to 
welcome  life,  even  when  death  would  have  been  preferable,  and 
so  she  struggled  onward  sick  at  heart  and  desolate. 

She  knew  that  all  would  be  over  ere  her  sister  could  reach  her, 
and  she  felt  that  it  would  require  all  her  fortitude  to  pass  through 
the  terrible  ordeal  alone. 

Several  of  the  neighbours  had  dropped  in,  the  evening  before 
the  day  appointed  for  the  funeral.  They  were  sitting  in  almost 
unbroken  silence,  though  now  and  then  a  whispered  comment 
upon  the  weather  was  exchanged  in  that  "sick-room  voice"  that 
is  so  peculiarly  annoying.  Mrs.  Harden,  who  had  been  most 
constant  in  her  attendance,  sat  near  Mrs.  Jackson;  and  Mrs. 
Smith,  emboldened  by  the  peculiar  circumstances  of  the  case,  had 
accompanied  her,  though  there  had  been  no  previous  acquaint- 
ance. Dr.  Chester's  kind  little  wife  glided  about  the  room,  and 
accompanied  many,  whom  a  vulgar  curiosity  had  drawn  thither, 
to  the  room  that  was  so  soon  to  be  vacant : — a  custom  sanctioned 
by  habit  in  country  neighbourhoods,  of  all  others,  most  barba- 
rous, and  one  which  can  but  harrow  the  hearts  of  the  survivors. 
Mrs.  Jackson  felt  this  deeply,  as  the  strange  voices  and  muffled 
steps  fell  upon  her  ear;  and  she  longed  to  pray  them  all  to  leave 
her,  to  allow  her  at  least  the  consolation  of  solitude. 

Suddenly  a  voice,  that  came  like  the  memory  of  a  dream, 
startled  her.  She  glanced  towards  the  open  door,  and  in  a  mo- 
ment, with  outstretched  arms,  she  had  flown  by  them  all,  and 
was  clasped  to  the  heart  of  one  just  entering  the  doorway. 

"My  poor  Annie!"  was  all  that  reached  the  ears  of  the 
astonished  spectators;  then,  for  the  first  time,  they  heard  an 


utterance  of  the  sorrow  so  hidden  from  them.  Mrs.  Jackson 
was  sobbing  wildly  upon  the  breast  of  the  stranger ;  and  then 
he  lifted  her,  as  he  would  have  borne  a  child,  to  the  next  room, 
for  she  had  fainted. 

Mrs.  Harden  seized  a  vinaigrette,  and  hurried  after  them ;  but 
Mrs.  Chester  and  and  the  stranger  were  already  chafing  the  cold 
hands ;  and  oh !  how  ghastly  was  that  pale  face,  as  the  long, 
dark  hair  fell  unloosed  about  it !  "  Poor  creature  ! "  said  Mrs. 
Harden,  touched  with  something  like  genuine  compassion,  and 
then,  as  the  swoon  passed,  she  heard  Mrs.  Jackson  murmur, 
"  Where  is  Edward  ?  I  am  sure  he  was  here  ! " 

Mrs.  Chester  motioned  for  Mrs.  Harden  to  follow  her,  and  she 
was  obliged  to  leave  before'her  curiosity  was  satisfied  as  to  Mrs. 
Jackson's  emotion  at  the  sight  of  one  whom  they  had  never  seen 
before.  "  It  must  be  Mr.  Jackson's  brother,"  said  Mrs.  Chester, 
as  they  waited  for  a  moment  in  the  passage,  to  see  if  their  aid 
would  again  be  needed. 

Mrs.  Harden  seized  upon  the  .idea  in  triumph,  and  returning 
to  the  parlour,  it  was  soon  whispered  about  that  Mr.  Jackson'' s 
brother  had  come  to  attend  the  funeral.  One  by  one  the  neigh- 
bours went  away,  as  they  found  Mrs.  Jackson  did  not  return,  and 
nothing  further  could  be  learned ;  but  Mrs.  Harden  went  in  and 
kissed  the  sufferer  "  good  night ;"  a  kiss  from  which  Mrs.  Jack- 
son shrank,  although  she  tried  to  smile  kindly  at  so  unusual  an 
evidence  of  interest. 

They  sat  in  silence  for  some  minutes  after  her  departure,  and 
then  Mrs.  Jackson  said — 

"  Will  you  not  go  with  me  to  look  upon  him  now  ?  I  am 
stronger,  and  I  think  I  could  bear  it  with  you  near  me." 

So,  silently  they  entered  the  chamber  of  death,  and  tears 


gushed  to  the  eyes  of  that  strong,  proud  man,  as  he  saw  the  face 
of  his  brother,  so  changed  since  their  last  parting.  Mrs.  Jack- 
son looked  imploringly  up  to  him ;  her  face  was  tearless,  but  the 
agony  of  expression  was  unutterable.  She  had  bent  down  to 
kiss  that  marble  brow,  and  its  coldness  chilled  her  very  soul; 
and  now,  for  the  first  time,  her  tenderness  met  with  no  return. 
The  brother  clasped  her  trembling  form,  and  in  a  deep  voice, 
said — 

"  God  and  the  spirit  of  our  lost  one  bear  me  witness,  Annie, 
I  will  watch  over  you  and  your  child  as  over  my  own  life ! " 

She  had  severed  one  curl  from  those  that  lay  caressingly  about 
the  dear  face ;  pressed  her  hand  for  an  instant  over  the  cold  brow, 
and  as  she  passed  from  the  room,  leaning  upon  a  strong  arm,  she 
felt  that  she  had  bidden  a  last  farewell  to  him  who  had  made  the 
sunshine  of  life's  morning. 


"  Be  not  dismay'd,  for  as  thy  day 
Thy  strength  shall  surely  be, 
And  self-forgetfulness  will  win 
A  noble  victory." 

JJHEY  were  sitting  alone  scarce  a  week  after  the  fune- 
ral, the  widow  and  her  husband's  brother.     "  The 
widow" — how  she  had  started  as  she  heard  the  term 
applied  to  herself  that  day ! 
Archie's  large,  wondering  eyes  were  at  length  closed  in  a  sweet 
sleep.     Poor  little  fellow  !  he  had  grown  weary  of  asking  "why 


papa  did  not  wake?"  —  and  "why  a  great  lady  like  mamma 
should  cry  ?  "  He  had  never  seen  his  mother  shed  tears  before, 
and  had  always  been  taught  that  his  own  were  unmanly.  But 
though  he  would  now  and  then  burst  into  a  passionate  fit  of 
weeping,  when  told  that  "  papa  would  never  kiss  him  again/7  the 
novelty  of  everything  around  speedily  hushed  his  sorrow. 

Not  so  with  his  mother.  She  now  began  faintly  to  realize  that 
a  life-long  separation  was  commenced.  A  reaction  from  her 
strange  composure  seemed  to  be  at  hand.  But  it  was  not  so.  Her 
strong  nature  had  regained  its  habitual  self-control ;  and  her  bro- 
ther wondered  at,  and  admired,  what  so  many  might  have  mis- 

At  length,  the  silence  became  almost  painful  •  and,  by  way  of 
commencing  a  conversation,  Edward  said — 

"  That  was  a  very  lady-like  woman  who  passed  me  at  the  door 
this  afternoon." 

"  Yes,"  replied  Mrs.  Jackson,  with  a  gleam  almost  like  plea- 
sure lighting  up  her  face.  "  I  have  known  her  but  a  very  little 
while — she  is  the  wife  of  a  clergyman  recently  come  among  us, 
or  minister,  I  should  perhaps  say,  as  they  belong  to  the  Congre- 
gationalist  denomination.  Our  own  rector  has  left  us,  and  his 
successor  will  not  be  here  for  some  months.  Mrs.  Townsend  and 
her  husband  have  both  been  very  kind  to  me." 

"  It  was  he  who  officiated  at  the  funeral,  was  it  not  ? — a  tall, 
sad-looking  man?  I  think  he  has  learned  sympathy  by  sorrow." 

There  was  another  long  pause ;  the  brother  was  evidently  wish- 
ing to  speak  upon  a  topic  he  seemed  to  fear  introducing. 

"  I  must  return  this  week,  Annie — did  I  tell  you  ?  "  he  said, 
at  length. 


"  Must  it  be  so  soon  ?  I  had  hoped  you  could  stay  until  Ma- 
rian came,  at  least." 

"And  she  will  be  here?" 

"  Indeed,  I  cannot  tell  when.  If  I  did  not  know  it  was  my 
sister,  I  should  be  pained  at  what  might  seem  an  unkind  delay." 

"  Annie,  have  you  any  plan  for  the  future  ?  " 

"  I  have  thought  a  little  about  it,"  said  she,  sadly. 

"  And  I,  too,  have  been  trying  to  see  what  will  be  best  for 
you.  The  manufactory  must  be  stopped  at  once,  I  sup- 

"  Will  it  not  be  a  great  loss,  and,  at  the  same  time,  throw 
many  out  of  employment  this  cold  weather  ?  " 

"I  fear  so." 

"Then  why  not  let  it  go  on?" 

"  It  would  be  impossible — there  is  no  one  to  attend  to  it  here ; 
and  I  can  visit  you  but  seldom." 

"Does  not  the  overseer,  Mr.  Stone,  understand  his  business 
thoroughly?  Arthur" — and  there  was  a  slight  faltering  in  the 
tone — "trusted  him  fully." 

"  Yes — I  was  surprised,  this  afternoon,  to  find  how  thoroughly 
he  comprehended  every  point  in  the  case.  He  says  if  we  can 
retain  it  till  spring,  a  purchaser  might  easily  be  found,  and  you 
would  lose  little  or  nothing.  But  the  trouble  is,  there  must  be 
a  responsible  head  of  the  establishment  till  then." 

"Could  not  you  assume  the  responsibility?" 

"Nominally,  I  could." 

"  And  I  can  take  it  in  reality." 

"You,  Annie?"  said  her  brother,  with  a  start  of  astonish- 
ment. "I  do  not  understand  you." 

"  It  is  no  sudden  resolution,"  replied  Mrs.  Jackson,  thought- 


fully.  "  From  the  moment  I  saw  those  poor  people  join  in  that 
sad  procession,  I  have  been  wishing  I  could  do  something  for 

"  But  you  know  nothing  of  business." 

"  You  forget  I  am  something  of  a  book-keeper,  and  that  Ar- 
thur often  consulted  me  in  his  arrangements.  I  think,  with  a 
little  application,  and  with  Mr.  Stone's  assistance,  I  could  arrange 
all  necessary  matters." 

"  It  is  a  wild  scheme,  Annie.  Would  it  not  be  better  to  take 
a  more  natural  course,  even  though  at  a  sacrifice  of  some  pro- 

"  And  of  the  comfort  of  all  the  operatives  ?  " 

Although  her  brother  was  at  first  fairly  staggered  at  the  pro- 
posal, he  was  not  proof  against  the  many  arguments  in  favour  of 
her  scheme,  which  she  now  brought  before  him.  It  had  rapidly 
matured  by  her  quick,  sagacious  mind,  and  he  was  astonished 
to  see  how  readily  she  entered  into  all  the  difficulties  of  the 

"And  finally,"  said  she,  as  she  closed  her  explanation,  "you 
have  promised  to  be  here  as  often  as  your  own  business  will  allow, 
and  you  can  advise  me  upon  all  important  points." 

"  But  it  is  so  unprecedented,  Annie." 

"  Rare,  perhaps,  but  not  without  precedent.  Do  you  not  re- 
member that  my  favourite,  Madame  Guyon,  was  her  husband's 
executor,  and  arranged  all  the  troublesome  law  suits  in  which  he 
had  been  involved.  I  could  point  you  to  many  other  instances, 
not  so  illustrious,  perhaps,  but  quite  as  worthy." 

Edward  sat  for  some  time  in  deep  thought.  He  could  but  con- 
trast the  thoughtful  countenance  before  him,  with  the  timid,  girl- 


ish  face  so  beautiful  at  his  brother's  bridal ;  and  his  heart  grew 
sad  at  the  change  a  few  years  had  wrought. 

Suddenly  she  came  softly  towards  him,  and  put  her  hand  upon 
his  shoulder. 

"  I  fear  you  misunderstand  me ;  you  think  me  cold,  worldly — 
must  I  say  avaricious?"  and  her  eyes  sought  his  own  reproach- 

"  Ah  !  no,  my  sister  —  it  is  you  who  have  mistaken  me.  I 
appreciate  all  you  would  do ;  —  you  would  have  Arthur's  son 
enter  the  world  dependent  upon  none :  —  you  forget  your  own 
sorrow  in  the  thought  of  what  might  befall  the  families  of  these 
poor  men.  But  I  fear  you  mistake  your  own  strength  —  you 
should  be  free  from  all  care,  now." 

"Will  not  the  necessity  for  action  be  strength  in  itself?  I 
shall  have  no  time  for  those  maddening  recollections.  Believe 
me,  it  will  be  best  so." 

There  had  been  a  heavy  fall  of  snow  during  the  afternoon,  and 
a  carriage  had  reached  the  door  almost  without  sound.  There 
were  footsteps  in  the  hall  as  she  ceased  speaking,  and  ere  she 
could  rise  from  her  seat,  Marian's  arms  were  about  her  neck, 
and  Marian's  tears  were  mingled  with  her  own. 

The  sad  presentiment  had  been  most  mournfully  fulfilled — the 
sisters  had  met  in  sorrow. 





I  think  it  must  reach  Mrs.  Clackett's  ears  within  twenty-four  hours, 
and  then  the  business,  you  know,  is  as  good  as  done. — School  for  Scandal. 

DECLARE,"  said  Mrs.  Harden,  as  she  dusted  the 
china  ornaments  upon  the  mantel,  "quiltings  are 
$5^  '  g°mg  quite  out  of  fashion  now-a-days.  When  I 
was  a  girl — (not  one  in  ten  played  the  piano  then ; 
no,  nor  one  in  twenty) — nobody  could  get  married  without  one 
or  two  quilting  frolics ;  and  that's  the  way  we  usually  found  out 
what  was  going  on.  Just  as  soon  as  we  saw  a  girl  doing  a  star 
block,  or  piecing  out  a  '  rising  sun/  we  began  to  suspect  there 
was  a  beau  in  the  case/' 

"Who  have  you  invited  this  morning,  ma?"  asked  Harriet,  at 
this  pause. 

"  Nobody  but  those  we  talked  over  yesterday.  Mrs.  Smith, 
Miss  Martin,  and  Mrs.  Folger.  You  know  that  more  than  four 
can't  quilt  on  a  side,  and  I  shall  be  busy  about  getting  tea  some 
of  the  time." 

"  I  do  hope  Mrs.  Folger  will  leave  Bobby  and  the  twins  at 
home.  If  she  doesn't,  it  will  take  me  all  the  time  to  wait  on 
them ;"  and  Miss  Harriet  twirled  impatiently  around  upon  the 


music-stool,  and  went  into  a  vigorous  practice  of  "  Scenes  that 
are  Brightest." 

"I  should  think,  Harriet,"  was  the  next  interruption,  "that 
you  might  just  as  well  be  helping  me  as  screaming  that  song. 
You've  left  everything  in  the  world  for  me  to  see  to." 

"  If  the  world  had  nobody  else  to  look  after  it,  'twould  soon 
come  to  an  end,"  muttered  the  dutiful  daughter. 

"What's  that  you  said?"  broke  in  the  mother,  sharply. 

But  Harriet  only  sang  the  louder — 

"Words  cannot  scatter — " 

A.  fracas  was  evidently  pending,  when  Mrs.  Harden's  attention 
was  diverted. 

"  For  goodness  sake ! "  said  she,  rushing  to  the  window,  "  if 
Mrs.  Jackson  isn't  going  out  to  ride  again  with  her  husband's 
brother!  Of  all  the  scandalous  things  I  ever  heard  of,  that 
woman's  conduct  is  the  most  open.  What  a  sweet  little  horse 
and  cutter ! " 

"  And  such  a  lovely  mat !  Well,  I  don't  know  that  I  should 
mind  being  a  young  widow  myself,  if  I  could  get  waited  on  in 
that  style.  They  won't  be  home  before  afternoon,  now  you 

"  They  don't  even  take  Archie  with  them  half  the  time.  Well, 
it's  Mrs.  Jackson,  that's  all  I  can  say ;  but  if  it  had  been  you  or 
me,  the  whole  town  would  be  in  arms." 

"  See  how  he  lifts  her  in.  How  old  should  you  think  he  was, 

"  Not  a  day  over  thirty,  I  '11  be  bound.  He 's  younger  looking, 
a  good  deal,  than  his  brother  was.  Take  care,  they'll  see  you — 
come  a  little  nearer  this  way." 


"  I  won-der  if  he's  rich.  See  how  he  tucks  the  buffalo  around 
her — I  declare,  how  loving  that  '  thank  you '  was !  Well ! " 

"It  must  be  excellent  sleighing,"  remarked  Mrs.  Harden,  as 
the  light  vehicle  glided  out  of  sight. 

The  curtain  was  rolled  down,  Miss  Harriet  recommenced  her 
practice,  despite  the  previous  conversation,  and  Mrs.  Harden  de- 
parted to  communicate  the  late  observations  to  Hannah,  who,  by 
the  way,  was  Mrs.  Harden's  confidant,  and  even  counsellor — that 
is,  she  always  volunteered  her  opinion  on  every  subject  under 
family  discussion. 

The  expected  visitors  arrived,  with  the  exception  of  Miss  Mar- 
tin. She  was  engaged  "  half  a  day  "  at  Miss  Barnard's,  and  had 
promised  Mrs.  Harden  to  run  in  and  take  her  place  at  the  quilt, 
"by  way  of  change,"  the  rest  of  the  day. 

Mrs.  Folger  did  not  bring  Bobby,  who  had  a  bad  cold,  but  the 
twins  were  there  in  very  short  dresses,  and  very  wide  pantalettes. 
They  had  somewhat  increased  in  stature  since  we  made  their  ac- 
quaintance two  years  before,  and  were  now  at  that  interesting  age 
graphically  described  as  "just  old  enough  to  be  all  the  time  in 

There  was  some  little  trouble  in  getting  comfortably  settled 
at  the  quilt.  The  frame  was  too  high  for  Mrs.  Smith,  and, 
when  altered,  too  low  for  Mrs.  Folger ;  when  this  difficulty  was 
obviated  by  placing  "the  bars"  upon  the  backs  of  eight  chairs, — • 
a  movement  which  made  the  centre  of  gravity  very  indeterminate, 
and  consequently  insecure, —  it  was  discovered  that  the  chalk 
marks  were  all  rubbed  out  while  they  had  been  at  work.  Then 
Mrs.  Folger's  thimble  was  misssing,  though  she  was  sure  she  had 
it  on  leaving  home.  Mrs.  Harden's  did  duty  as  a  substitute,  but 
being  somewhat  too  large,  it  was  constantly  falling  off  and  rolling 


into  the  little  hollow  in  the  centre  of  the  quilt,  thus  causing  a 
deal  of  stretching  over  and  poking  about,  before  it  could  be 

At  length  all  was  adjusted,  and  the  "border"  was  commenced. 
Mrs.  Harden  had  waited  but  till  now  for  the  communication  of 
the  morning's  observations. 

"  Was  it  possible ! " — "  Could  any  woman  forget  her  husband 
so  soon ! "  —  (Mrs.  Smith  seemed  not  to  remember  that  her 
second  marriage  had  taken  place  within  the  year  after  her 
husband's  death.) 

"  Let  'B  see,"  said  she.  "  It 's  just  three  months,  day  before 
yesterday,  since  the  funeral.  I  had  my  cloak  made  the  day  after 
it,  and  Miss  Martin  and  I  talked  it  all  over  together." 

"  By  the  way,  your  cloak  is  elegant,"  chimed  in  Mrs.  Harden. 
"But  about  the  funeral — don't  you  remember  what  I  said  to  you 
as  we  came  home  ?  Mrs.  Smith,  says  I,  as  true  as  you  're  alive, 
if  that  man  ain't  married,  or  going  to  be,  'twill  make  a  match." 

"  Oh,  it  was  plain  enough  the  very  night  he  came.  Don't  you 
remember  how  she  fairly  threw  herself  into  his  arms  ?  Some- 
thing said  to  me  then,  (though  I  had  no  idea  of  who  he  was,) 
'  Mrs.  Jackson  will  marry  that  man ! ' ' 

"  Then,  you  know,  I  carried  the  salts  into  her  room,  and  he 
was  hanging  over  her  and  calling  her  all  kinds  of  things.  He 
kissed  her  even,  and  her  husband  lying  dead  in  the  house  !  " 

"  Horrors !  you  never  told  me  that — (hand  me  the  scissors.) 
— I  should  have  thought  they  would  have  been  afraid  he  would 
have  risen  up  before  them." 

"  And  then  her  setting  herself  up  to  go  on  with  that  factory. 
It's  all  of  a  piece.  I've  heard  she  planned  it  all  out  the  very 
day  of  the  funeral." 


"  And  she  pretending  to  feel  so  bad,  Mrs.  Harden.  The  hy- 
pocrisy of  some  people  ! " 

"  I  never  thought  she  cared  much  about  her  husband,  between 
you  and  I,"  replied  that  lady.  "  How  she  went  on  with  young 
Dr.  Wheelock,  long  before  his  death ! " 

"  How  many  times  has  Edward  Jackson  been  up,  since  then  ?  " 
asked  Mrs.  Folger. 

"  This  is  the  third  time.  To  be  sure,  it's  not  far  to  come,  and 
I  thought  nothing  about  it" — (as  we  have  seen,  dear  reader) — 
"  until  after  the  river  closed.  But  any  man  that  wants  to  see  a 
woman  enough  to  pay  stage  fare  all  the  way  from  New  York,  and 
to  take  such  a  ride  in  the  middle  of  winter,  must  be  pretty  deep 
in  love.  That 's  all  /  can  say." 

Here  Mrs.  Harden  quilted  into  Mrs.  Smith's  elbow;  and  as 
they  had  come  to  such  uncomfortably  close  quarters,  she  con- 
cluded to  "mark"  awhile,  until  they  were  ready  to  roll  up. 

Before  that  operation  was  concluded,  Miss  Martin  arrived, 
who,  breathlessly,  told  them  to  go  to  the  window  "  quick."  In 
the  agitation  of  the  moment,  the  front  of  the  quilt  was  knocked 
down ;  but  they  did  not  stop  to  repair  the  disaster. 

"  Come  to  this  window,"  said  Mrs.  Smith  to  Harriet ;  "  they're 
just  at  the  door.  Talk  of " 

"  Oh  !  don't — now  isn't  he  handsome ! " 

"  That 's  a  new-fashioned  overcoat,"  said  Miss  Martin ;  "  see 
how  oddly  the  seams  are  closed.  Have  you  seen  one  like  it 

The  ladies  were  not  so  observant  as  Miss  Martin  of  the  gen- 
tleman's apparel ;  but  they  all  saw  Mrs.  Jackson  lifted  from  the 
sleigh,  and  almost  carried  into  the  house. 

This,  certainly,  seemed  an  unnecessary  piece  of  devotedness 


to  all  present,  and  they  came  to  the  conclusion  that,  whatever 
doubt  had  existed  before,  there  was  certainly  none  now  with 
regard  to  their  positive  engagement. 

"It's  not  every  one  that's  so  easily  consoled/'  said  Mrs. 
Folger,  as  they  once  more  readjusted  the  quilt;  "though  I  have 
heard  of  people  who  were  married  within  a  year.  Mr.  Alger, 
you  know;  it  was  only  six  months  after  his  wife  died." 

Mrs.  Smith  winced  a  little,  but  did  not  betray  her  uneasiness. 
Her  second  wedding-day  had  occurred  just  nine  months  from  the 
first  day  of  her  widowhood. 

"By  the  way,"  said  Miss  Martin,  suddenly,  "who  do  you 
think  I  saw  to-day,  Harriet  ? — Adeline  Mitchell,  your  particular 
friend,"  for  all  present  were  aware  of  the  new  antagonism. 

"  Ah !"  said  Harriet,  with  a  most  contemptuous  wreathing  of 
her  thin  lips. 

"  Yes ;  and  she  had  on  the  sweetest  new  silk  dress.  I  wonder 
who  made  it!" 

"  It 's  likely  that  people  who  can  afford  new  silk  dresses  every 
fall,  have  them  made  in  New  York.  I  do  like  to  see  people  get 
above  themselves  now  and  then  !•" 

There  was  plainly  no  hope  that  the  "breach  of  peace"  could 
ever  be  closed.  Adeline  Mitchell's  extravagance  created  quite  a 
diversion  from  Mrs.  Jackson.  Miss  Martin  stitched  away  in- 
dustriously with  terribly  long  "  needlefulls  "  of  thread.  -Mrs. 
Folger  now  and  then  had  a  little  chase  for  the  unfortunate  thimble, 
and  Mrs.  Smith,  as  usual,  talked  a  great  deal  and  sewed  very 
little.  As  the  days  were  very  short,  lights  were  introduced  soon 
after  Miss  Martin's  arrival,  when  a  new  difficulty  ensued. 

There  were  but  two  flat-bottomed  candlesticks  in  the  house ; 
these  Hannah  had  that  morning  rescued  from  the  threatened 


oblivion  of  the  "closet  under  the  stairs,"  and  had  spent  much 
time  and  labour  in  polishing.  Two  lights  were  not  sufficient, 
and  the  expedient  of  a  lamp  set  upon  a  large  plate  was  mentioned. 
The  plate  would  not  do,  there  was  too  ranch  danger  of  its 

At  length,  Miss  Martin  suggested  that  the  little  tea-tray  would 
be  just  the  thing;  and  this,  when  tried,  was  found  to  answer 

"  Now,  Harriet,  I  '11  take  your  plage,  and  you  give  us  a  tune. 
I  haven't  heard  a  bit  of  music  this  age.  Do  you  know  a  piece 
called  'Flow  Gently,  Sweet  Afton?'"  asked  Mrs.  Smith. 

"  I  haven't  played  it  I  can't  tell  the  time  when,"  responded 
the  fair  musician ;  "  but  I  've  got  a  beautiful  new  thing  called 
Norma,"  she  added,  taking  up  a  simple  arrangement  of  the 
Druid's  march  in  that  celebrated  opera. 

"  Norma ! — I  suppose  that's  a  girl's  name/'  said  Mrs.  Folger, 

"  Well,  let's  have  that,  then,"  continued  Miss  Martin. 

Harriet  forthwith  commenced  in  a  loud,  dashing  style,  in  which 
forte  and  piano,  diminuendo  and  crescendo  passages  were  so 
mingled,  as  to  be  entirely  undistinguishable. 

Mrs.  Folger  nodded  her  head  to  keep  time,  while  Mrs.  Smith, 
glad  of  an  excuse  for  open  idleness,  laid  down  her  needle  and 
rested  her  elbow  on  the  quilt-frame  to  listen,  while  Miss  Martin's 
notes  of  admiration,  as  "  Ain't  that  a  sweet  strain  ?  " — "  Don't 
that  put  you  in  mind  of  '  Bonaparte  crossing  the  Rhine  ? ' "  were 
continued  at  intervals. 

Animated  by  such  "distinguished  applause,"  Harriet  played 
still  more  loudly  as  she  neared  the  conclusion ;  but  alas  for  the 
finale  ! 


The  twins,  favoured  by  the  noise,  and  animated  by  a  purely 
feminine  instinct,  discovered  that  under  the  quilt  was  a  capital 
place  for  playing  "keep  house/'  and  had  accordingly  emigrated 
thither  from  the  window-seat, 'where  they  had  formerly  resided. 
As  they  crept  carefully  under  the  opposite  side,  they  were,  at 
first,  undiscovered;  but  growing  more  venturesome,  Susan,  who 
was  a  little  the  tallest,  tried  if  she  could  "stand  up  straight" 
under  the  centre  of  the  quilt. 

Most  unfortunate  undertaking ! — for,  her  head  came  in  contact 
with  the  tea-tray ;  the  lamp  which  it  bore  was  upset ;  and,  at  the 
same  moment,  her  sister,  in  trying  to  move  one  of  the  support- 
ing chairs,  brought  the  whole  establishment  once  more  to  the 

Harriet  sprang  from  the  piano,  and  snatched  the  lamps;  one 
of  the  heavy  candlesticks  struck  Sarah  Ann  in  its  descent ;  while 
Susan,  completely  enveloped,  thought  she  was  smothering  in  the 
centre  of  the  quilt,  and  screamed  in  harmony.  Of  course,  for  a 
moment  or  two,  there  was  total  darkness,  and  when  Hannah 
opened  the  door  to  announce  tea,  the  whole  room  was  a  scene  of 
unprecedented  confusion. 



The  world's  charity,  and  the  world's  condemnation ! 

Maiden  Aunt. 

He  never  left  a  single  shilling1, 
His  widow  to  console. 

Bedatt  Papers. 

RS.  SMITH  was  a  member  of  the  Congrega- 
tional church,  which  numbered  but  a  few.  The 
Episcopalians  were  the  aristocrats  of  the  town, 
at  least,  they  were  so  called  by  all  the  rest, 
though  the  Presbyterians  had  the  finest  church,  and  the  highest 
steeple ;  and  the  organ  in  the  Lutheran  church  was  far  the  best. 
The  Congregationalists,  therefore,  came  some  way  behind,  and 
numbered  but  three  wealthy  men  in  their  society ;  though  Elder 
Whiting  was  a  man  of  great  influence,  and  Deacon  Morrison 
would  have  been  if  he  could.  However,  Mr.  Townsend  found 
his  time  and  patience  fully  taxed  to  keep  his  congregation  in 
order,  small  as  it  was;  and  his  wife  did  much  to  assist  him  by 
her  gentle  and  popular  manners,  and  great  tact — that  woman's 

It  was  in  the  afternoon  after  Mrs.  Harden' s  quilting,  Miss 
Martin  had  commenced  an  engagement  of  three  days  at  Mrs. 
Smith's,  and  the  two  ladies  were  deep  in  the  mysteries  of  "  rip- 
ping and  turning."  Suddenly  a  knock  at  the  front  door  startled 
them,  and  Mrs.  Smith  hurried  into  an  adjoining  room  to  give  a 
few  preliminary  instructions  to  the  girl,  who  was  going  through 
the  hall. 


"  If  it 's  Miss  Barnard,"  said  Mrs.  Smith,  "  show  her  into  the 
parlour  and  roll  up  the  curtains ;  tell  her  I  '11  be  in  in  a  second. 
However,  it  may  be  only  Mrs.  Morrison,  and  she  may  come  right 
into  the  sitting-room — I  won't  change  my  cap  for  her.  Oh  !  and 
Susan,  if  it 's  old  Mrs.  Shoefelt,  just  tell  her  I  've  run  out,  and 
you  don't  know  when  I'll  be  in.  I  did  run  out  of  the  sitting- 
room,"  said  the  conscientious  lady,  as  she  applied  her  ear  to  the 

Now,  it  so  chanced,  that  the  visitor  was  neither  of  the  above 
mentioned  ladies,  and  Susan  was  at  a  loss  how  to  dispose  of  her; 
but  not  noticing  the  girl's  hesitation,  and  seeing  the  sitting- 
room  door  ajar,  Mrs.  Townseud  solved  the  difficulty  by  walking 
directly  in,  as  she  heard  Mrs.  Smith  was  at  home. 

Miss  Martin  rose,  in  a  flutter  of  consequence,  to  see  her. 
"  Mrs.  Smith  would  be  in  in  half  a  minute ; — would  Mrs.  Town- 
send  be  so  good  as  to  excuse  the  looks  of  the  room.  Dress- 
makers made  so  many  f  chips  f  but  it  was  '  clean  dirt,'  after  all. 

Mrs.  Townsend  smiled  very  kindly,  and  replied  — "  We  all 
know  what  dressmaking  is,"  and  then  hoped  that  she  had  not 
interrupted  them  as  Mrs.  Smith  entered  the  room. 

That  lady  was  all  smiles  and  cordiality.  Again  and  again  her 
visitor  was  urged  to  stay  to  tea,  at  least  to  take  oft7  her  bonnet 
and  sit  an  hour  or  two ;  but,  after  repeated  refusals,  the  conver- 
sation took  another  turn. 

"  I  suppose  you  're  out  making  calls,  then  ?  "  said  Miss  Mar- 
tin, affably.  Miss  Martin  was  also  one  of  Mr.  Townsend's 
charge,  and  consequently  took  the  visit  partly  to  herself. 

"  Yes,"  was  the  reply,  "  I  have  just  come  from  Mrs.  Jack- 

"  Now,  do  tell  me,"  said  Mrs.  Smith,  "  what 's  your  opinion 


about  that  match  ?  Do  you  think  they  '11  be  married  before  the 
year's  up?" 

"  May  I  ask  what  match  ?  I  confess  to  a  lamentable  igno- 
rance of  the  news  of  the  day." 

"  Why  Mrs.  Jackson  and  her  husband's  brother,  of  course," 
replied  Mrs.  Smith.  "I  suppose  you  know  they  are  engaged?" 

"  Mrs.  Jackson  ! "  said  her  visitor,  with  a  start  of  unfeigned 
astonishment.  "Did  I  understand  you,  Mrs.  Smith?" 

"  Why  where  do  you  live,  not  to  hear  the  news  ?  I  thought 
every  one  knew  how  devoted  he  had  been  to  her,  from  the  day 
the  was  a  widow.  lie  's  been  up  three  times  from  New  York, 
and  every  time  he  comes  they  ride  out  together,  and  are  gone  all 
the  forenoon." 

"  Besides,  she 's  leaving  off  her  mourning,"  added  Miss  Mar- 
tin. "  I  saw  her  in  the  street  last  week  without  her  veil,  and 
she  had  on  a  mouseline-de-laine  dress  with  white  stripes  in  it. 
As  to  that,  however,  she  might  just  as  well  not  have  worn  any 
veil  at  all,  for  she  never  has  it  over  her  face.  If  people  put  on 
mourning,  I  don't  like  to  see  it  done  half-way.  Good  deep  crape 
and  bombazine,  say  I,  if  any  one's  going  in  black  for  a  near 
friend,  not  to  say  husband." 

"  Yes,"  said  Mrs.  Smith,  "  I  remember  that  I  wore  a  double 
crape  veil  till  the  very  Sunday  before  I  was  married  to  Mr.  Smith. 
I  really  felt  sorry  to  take  off  black  at  all,  it  was  so  becoming. 
Everybody  told  me  I  never  looked  so  well  in  the  world." 

Mrs.  Townsend  could  scarcely  repress  a  smile  at  this  remark- 
ably naive  confession,  but  said,  quite  earnestly — "  I  see  nothing 
particular  in  Mr.  Edward  Jackson's  attentions;  I  am  sure  I 
should  expect  the  same  kindness  from  my  husband's  brother, 


were  I  similarly  situated.  She  has  no  other  person  to  consult  in 
her  business." 

"  "Well,  there  it  is  again.  It  was  such  a  queer  move  for  her 
to  go  on  with  that  factory.  In  the  first  place,  it 's  all  covetous- 
ness  on  her  part ;  she  wants  to  be  a  rich  young  widow,  I  suppose. 
Though,  as  for  being  young,  she  never  will  see  thirty  again  to 
my  knowledge.  Then  the  men  all  admire  her  '  spirit'  so  much, 
and  she  knew  it  beforehand.  It  serves  to  make  her  talked 
about."  Mrs.  Smith  delivered  these  opinions  oracularly,  and 
Miss  Martin  joined  in  with — 

"  I  should  a  thought  Mrs.  Jorden  might  have  afforded  to  have 
stayed  the  winter  with  her  sister,  at  least.  Flying  here,  and  fly- 
ing off  again  before  ever  any  of  us  had  a  chance  to  see  her ;  but 
it 's  all  of  a  piece  with  the  whole  family — they're  just  as  selfish, 
and  just  as  close  as  they  can  be.  If  it  wasn't  for  Jane,  Mrs. 
Jackson's  girl,  we  never  should  know  what  was  going  on/' 

"By  the  by,  Jane  says,"  continued  Mrs.  Smith,  "that  Mr. 
Edward  Jackson  always  kisses  her  when  he  comes  and  goes,  and 
that  her  little  boy  already  calls  him  '  pa.'  Of  course,  it 's  nothing 
to  me ;  but  I  do  like  to  see  people  behave  themselves,  and  they 
might  have  waited  till  Mr.  Jackson's  grave-stone  was  up,  to  say 
the  least." 

Mrs.  Townsend  was  truly  shocked  at  the  coarseness  of  the 
last  remark ;  but  she  had  waited  for  a  pause  in  the  conversation 
to  suggest  an  explanation  of  Marian's  absence. 

"  Mrs.  Jackson  was  speaking  of  her  sister's  health  this  after- 
noon. She  is  very  much  alarmed  about  her.  Of  course,  you 
know  how  delicate  she  has  been  this  winter,  and  that  her  physi- 
cian said  he  could  not  answer  for  the  consequences  if  she  stayed 


"You  don't  say!"  ejaculated  Miss  Martin;  "  why  I  always 
thought  she  looked  well  enough.  "Wouldn't  it  be  queer  if  Henry 
Jorden  should  be  left  a  widower?  I  wonder  who  he'd  marry ! " 

"  I  don't  suppose  he  has  thought  so  far  as  that,"  replied  Mrs. 
Townsend,  smiling,  despite  the  seriousness  of  the  subject,  at  the 
last  characteristic  remark.  "But,  as  regards  Mrs.  Jorden,  it 
was  only  by  absolute  necessity  that  she  was  prevailed  to  leave  her 
sister  this  winter.  I  fear  Mrs.  Jackson  will  be,  and  has  been, 
very  lonely." 

"  La !  I  don't  see  why.  There 's  Jane,  one  of  the  best  girls 
in  the  kitchen  I  ever  saw — she  lived  with  me  awhile — and  Mrs. 
Miller's  very  neighbourly.  Besides,  she  doesn't  shut  herself  up, 
by  any  means,  not  she ;  for  young  Dr.  Wheelock  has  been  there 
often,  and  lawyer  McCloud,  and  she  goes  out  to  tea  every  now 
and  then.  She  was  at  Miss  Barnard's  last  week,  quite  as  if 
nothing  had  happened,  and  sung  and  played,  too,  though  she 
don't  keep  her  own  piano  shut,  as  to  that." 

"  Just  so,  Mrs.  Smith,"  said  Miss  Martin.  "  I  was  saying  to 
Mrs.  Folger  the  other  night — last  night  it  was,  at  Mrs.  Harden'a 
—  Mrs.  Folger,  says  I,  when  people  forget  their  husbands  so 
soon,  (and  the  best  of  husbands  as  he  was,)  begin  to  take  off 
black  when  they  haven't  worn  the  stiffness  out  of  the  crape,  and 
can  sing  songs  just  as  if  they  didn't  mind  being  widows  a  bit,  / 
haven't  got  much  pity  for  them,  that's  all."  . 

"I  never  shall  forget,"  pursued  Mrs.  Smith,  "how  cool  she 
was  the  day  of  the  funeral.  I  don't  believe  she  shed  a  tear. 
I  'm  sure,  the  day  my  first  husband  was  buried,  it  was  just  as 
much  as  they  could  do  to  get  me  into  the  carriage.  Ma  said  she 
never  saw  anybody  go  on  as  I  did.  But  I  had  reason  to  feel 
bad.  A  kinder  man  never  brought  bread  into  the  house  than 


Mr.  Jenkins.  He  was  such  a  provider.  Wasn't  it  strange, 
Miss  Martin,  that  he  didn't  leave  a  hundred  dollars  after  all  was 
paid  off?  We  all  thought  the  executors  must  have  cheated  me. 
I  never  will  forgive  Dr.  Trueman  as  long  as  I  live  —  never. 
Though  I  'm  not  a  bit  spiteful,  naturally,  and  I  wouldn't  lift  my 
hand  against  him.  I  ain't  one  of  them  kind." 

Mrs.  Townsend  tried  in  vain  for  some  time  to  turn  the  conver- 
sation. These  gossiping  details  were  painful  to  her,  for  she  felt 
that,  as  a  listener,  she  was  becoming  a  party  to  them.  Although 
she  knew  very  little  of  Mrs.  Jackson  —  the  acquaintance  having 
commenced  accidentally  on  Mr.  Townsend's  having  been  called 
to  officiate  at  Mr.  Jackson's  funeral,  in  the  absence  of  then:  own 
clergyman, — she  had  conceived  the  deepest  regard  for  her.  She 
thought  she  understood  fully  Mrs.  Jackson's  motives  in  conduct- 
ing her  late  husband's  business  affairs  for  the  time,  although  no 
conversation  on  the  subject  had  passed  between  them.  Moreover, 
the  absurdity  of  the  charges  made  against  her,  put  the  affair  in 
almost  a  ludicrous  light,  as  she  hastily  reviewed  it  in  her  own  mind. 

"Ladies,"  said  she,  at  the  first  pause  in  the  tirade,  "I  came 
partly  on  business  this  afternoon.  You  have  heard  of  course 
about  the  meeting  of  the  committee  of  ladies  with  regard  to 
establishing  an  orphan  asylum." 

"  Mrs.  Folger  was  speaking  of  it  last  night,  don't  you  remem- 
ber?" said  Mrs.  Smith,  "and  I  thought  we  had  orphans  enough 
of  our  own  to  see  to,  without  gathering  up  all  the  little  beggars 
in  town,  and  washing  their  faces  for  them.  Besides,  if  the  Ber- 
nards and  Seymours  and  that  Mrs.  Jackson  are  going  to  have  it 
all  in  their  own  hands,  let  them  manage  it  among  themselves. 
I  would  n't  go  a  step  out  of  my  way  to  help  them.  Would  you, 
Miss  Martin?" 


The  lady  thus  appealed  to  thought  not ;  no,  decidedly. 

The  key  of  the  indignation  was  this.  Mrs.  Smith  was  affronted 
that  she  had  not  been  called  upon  at  first ;  Mrs.  Harden  had  been, 
Mrs.  Folger  was,  one  of  the  original  committee.  She  "  did  n't 
see  why  she  wasn't  as  good  as  other  people  !" 

Mrs.  Townsend  tried  in  vain  to  soothe  her;  Mrs.  Smith  was 
one  of  those  obstinately  jealous  people  who  are  always  imagining 
affronts  where  none  are  intended,  and  who  are  never  willing  to 
be  convinced  that  they,  by  any  possibility,  can  be  wrong.  She 
had  determined  from  the  first  to  do  all  that  she  could  against  the 
new  movement,  which  in  itself  was  truly  praiseworthy,  and  was 
glad  of  an  opportunity  to  vent  the  ill-humour,  that  had  been 
slowly  gathering,  like  an  autumnal  storm,  for  many  days. 

Finding  her  remonstrances  only  increased  the  belligerent 
determination  of  the  lady,  Mrs.  Townsend  soon  after  took  leave, 
after  engaging  Miss  Martin  to  sew  a  day  for  her  the  ensuing 

No  sooner  had  the  hall  door  closed,  than  Mrs.  Smith  began 
commenting  on  the  extravagance  of  ministers'  wives  generally, 
and  Mrs.  Townsend  in  particular. 

"Now  you  just  see,"  said  she,  stitching  vigorously  the  seain 
of  a  sleeve,  "  if  there  is  not  more  sugar  used  in  that  house  in  one 
week  than  there  is  in  mine  for  a  month.  I  wonder  what  sort  of 
a  dress  it  is  she  wants  you  to  make." 

"A  silk,  she  said." 

"  Another  new  silk  dress !  Why  she  had  one  only  a  year 
ago,  that  cheeny  with  so  many  colours  in  it.  I  do  hate  to  see  my 
own  money  wasted  in  that  way.  Twelve  dollars  a  year  for  pew 
rent  is  something  taken  out  of  a  family  now-a-days,  I  can  tell 
you.  Particularly  when  flour 's  eight  dollars  a  barrel.  Speak- 


ing  of  that,  Morrison  has  got  some  of  the  cheapest  groceries  I 
ever  saw.  His  six  cent  sugar  is  quite  good  enough,  when  there 's 
no  one  in,  and  as  for  using  Havana  in  our  own  family,  I  won't 
do  that  for  anybody." 


"A  whisper  woke  the  air, 

A  soft  light  tone  and  low, 
Yet  barbed  with  shame  and  woe. 
Low  as  it  seemed  to  others'  ears 
It  came  a  thunder  crash  to  her." 


very  afternoon  Mrs.  Jackson  sat  alone  by  her 
own  fire-side.  Jllone,  in  the  fullest  meaning  of  that 
desolate  word.  Her  brother  had  left  that  morning 
for  New  York,  and  the  reaction  from  the  little  ex- 
citement of  his  visit,  had  increased  her  sadness.  Besides,  the 
day  before  she  had  passed  with  him  at  the  manufactory,  in  con- 
sultation with  Mr.  Stone  the  overseer,  and  she  had  looked  over 
memorandams  written  in  that  well-known  hand,  sitting  at  the 
very  desk  that  had  been  her  husband's,  and  had  listened  to  his 
praises  from  the  grateful  operatives,  who  crowded  at  the  noon 
hour,  to  welcome  her. 

She  thought  over  all  of  this,  and  the  tears  came  to  her  eyes. 
She  looked  around  that  little  room  where  there  were  still  so  many 
tokens  of  him,  and  recalled  the  pleasant  smile,  and  tried  to  catch 
the  very  tone  of  his  nightly  greeting.  "  Gone,  and  for  ever,  from 
my  yearning  sight,"  was  the  language  in  her  heart  as  she  wept  bit- 


terly.  Archie  had  gone  out  with  Jane,  and  there  was  nothing 
to  prevent  the  indulgence  of  this  sorrow.  It  was  not  often  that 
the  fountain  of  bitterness  welled  forth,  but  now  she  did  not  seek 
to  check  it;  she  drew  his  last  kind  letters  from  their  resting- 
place,  and  read  again  and  again  those  words  of  deep  and  manly 
affection,  that  had  thrilled  her  heart  with  delicious  happiness 
when  she  had  first  received  them,  but  were  now  doubly  dear,  as 
she  remembered  they  were  the  last  tokens  of  that  love  that  should 
ever  be  hers. 

Even  those,  then  speaking  so  harshly,  would  have  stayed  their 
reproaches  could  they  have  seen  the  weary  woman  kneeling  in 
very  sickness  of  heart,  with  her  head  buried  in  the  cushions  of 
the  sofa,  and  yielding  to  wild  bursts  of  grief,  that  sank  at  times 
to  a  low,  moaning  sob,  still  more  fearful !  Yet  some  there  were, 
even  at  that  hour,  who  envied  her!  Envied  her  beauty,  her 
intelligence,  and  her  worldly  position,  and  spoke  of  her  future 
prospects  as  unclouded ! 

Scarcely  had  she  recovered  from  this  unusual  excitement,  when 
the  step  of  a  visitor  sounded  in  the  hall.  In  an  instant  those 
dear  records  of  the  dead,  blistered  as  they  were  with  tears,  were 
hastily  put  aside ;  she  did  not  enter  the  room  until  the  flush  had 
somewhat  subsided  from  her  eyelids,  and  then  as  she  greeted  her 
visitor  with  cheerful  cordiality,  none  but  a  heart  tremblingly 
alive  to  her  welfare,  could  have  marked  the  traces  of  that  fearful 
storm  of  emotion. 

Mrs.  Miller's  manner  was  in  marked  contrast  to  this  warm 
greeting.  She  was  cold  and  embarrassed,  spoke  in  short  sen- 
tences, which  were  often  broken  off,  as  if  they  had  at  first  con- 
tained the  element  of  some  second  thought  it  was  best  not  to 
epeak  —  a  peculiarly  "tantalizing"  mode  of  remark,  in  which 


many  ladies  are  so  prone  to  indulge.  Mrs.  Jackson  could  not 
understand  this,  but  not  dreaming  that  she  had  contributed  to 
her  friend's  wayward  humour,  did  not  appear  to  notice  it.  The 
object  of  Mrs.  Miller's  call,  to  solicit  attendance  at  a  second 
meeting  with  regard  to  the  orphan  asylum,  was  soon  dispatched, 
and,  depressed  as  she  had  been,  it  was  with  feelings  almost  like 
pleasure  that  Mrs.  Jackson  saw  her  visitor  depart. 

She  rose  the  ensuing  morning  with  a  dull  headache,  the  effect 
of  the  indulgence  of  her  grief  the  previous  evening,  and  had  the 
meeting  been  for  any  other  purpose,  she  would  have  declined 
attendance.  But  the  thought  of  her  own  fair  child,  who  might 
one  day  be  orphaned,  quickened  her  sympathy,  and  she  resolved 
to  do  all  in  her  power  to  aid  in  securing  a  comfortable  home  for 
the  little  unfortunates,  who  had  none  to  care  for  them. 

The  ladies  met  at  Mrs.  Miller's,  and  had  nearly  all  arrived 
when  she  entered  the  room.  She  fancied  that  they  bowed  coldly, 
and  it  was  true  that  none  of  them  offered  to  make  room  for  her, 
although  almost  every  seat  was  occupied,  until  Mrs.  Townsend 
chanced  to  notice  her  momentary  hesitation,  and  drew  an  ottoman 
from  an  adjoining  recess.  Miss  Seymour  pertly  inquired  when 
Mr.  Edward  Jackson  would  be  up  again.  Mrs.  McCloud,  on  the 
other  side,  asked  when  she  had  seen  Dr.  Wheelock  last,  and 
though  Mrs.  Jackson  replied  courteously,  she  could  not  compre- 
hend the  reason  why  both  ladies  emphasized  their  questions,  and 
smiled  superciliously  at  her  quiet  replies. 

The  business  of  the  meeting  commenced,  only  once  did  Mrs. 
Jackson  make  a  suggestion,  for  despite  her  resolutions  to  the 
contrary,  this  discourtesy  had  shaded  her  spirits.  Her  remark 
on  the  disposition  of  the  funds  already  collected,  was  perhaps  the 
most  sensible  arrangement  offered;  but  before  Mrs.  Townsend 


could  speak  in  its  support,  Miss  Seymour  had  proposed  a  contrary 
plan,  which  Mrs.  Miller  instantly  adopted. 

"  Surely,"  thought  Mrs.  Jackson,  as  she  walked  home  alone, 
"  I  cannot  have  done  any  thing  to  offend  all  these  people.  It 
must  be  a  sickly  fancy;"  and  she  smiled  at  what  she  termed  her 
foolish  sensitiveness. 

But  day  after  day  this  neglect  became  more  marked.  Many 
who  had  before  sought  her  society  passed  her  with  a  cold  bow  in 
the  street.  Her  visitors  became  more  rare,  and  gradually  a  ter- 
rible depression  stole  over  her.  She  tried  in  vain  to  solve  the 
secret  of  this  change.  She  could  not  tax  herself  with  any  fault, 
and  after  a  month  in  which  she  had  constantly  been  wounded, 
she  resolved  to  overcome  her  reserve  and  question  Mrs.  Miller, 
the  next  time  they  should  meet.  It  so  chanced  that  in  the  after- 
noon she  was  detained  at  Dr.  Van  Blake's,  the  dentist  of  River- 
town,  and,  while  waiting,  could  not  avoid  hearing  the  conversation 
of  two  ladies  seated  in  the  adjoining  parlour,  the  door  being  par- 
tially open.  Her  own  name  at  first  attracted  her  attention,  and 
she  recognised  the  voice  of  Mrs.  Miller,  as  she  said, 

"Why,  Mrs.  Jackson,  to  be  sure." 

"  Indeed,  I  thought  she  was  a  particular  friend  of  yours,"  was 
the  rejoinder. 

"  So  she  was,  as  long  as  she  conducted  herself  properly ;  but 
when  a  woman  is  so  imprudent  as  to  have  the  whole  town  talking 
about  her,  of  course  /  cannot  countenance  such  conduct." 

Mrs.  Jackson  heard  no  more;  the  words  rang  in  upon  her 
brain  with  a  leaden  sense  of  suffering  such  as  she  had  felt  the 
first  morning  on  which  she  awoke  to  the  loneliness  of  widowhood. 
She  gasped  for  breath  as  she  rose  up  mechanically  and  went  out 
into  the  street.  She  saw  no  one  as  she  hurried  to  her  home, — 


she  gathered  her  veil  tightly  over  her  face  and  started  at  every 
footstep  near  her.  A  whirl  of  contending  thoughts  was  in  her 
mind,  and  for  the  moment  she  almost  forgot  that  she  was  inno- 
cent :  and  saw  already  the  finger  of  scorn  pointed  at  her  approach. 
Her  eyes  fell  upon  the  portrait  of  her  husband  as  she  entered 
the  house.  Then  came  a  revulsion  of  pride.  "  That  they  should 
dare  to  speak  so  of  his  wife  I"  she  said  gaspingly,  as  she  clenched 
her  hands  until  the  blood  seemed  oozing  through  the  slender  fin- 
gers. What  could  have  been  her  fault !  How  had  she  brought 
detraction  to  increase  her  sorrow  ?  In  vain  she  reviewed  each 
act  of  the  past  few  months,  her  struggles  with  loneliness  and 
despondency,  her  exertions  for  the  good  of  others,  her  close  appli- 
cation to  business,  and  her  busy  schemes  for  its  success.  What 
of  all  this  could  have  been  misinterpreted  ?  Conscience  did  not 
reproach  her,  yet  even  as  she  struggled  against  the  feeling,  it 
was  as  if  she  clasped  a  poisoned  arrow  to  her  heart  when  sho 
slept  that  night,  her  pillow  wet  with  agonizing  tears, 



'T  is  not  alone  my  inky  cloak,  good  mother, 
Nor  customary  suits  of  solemn  black, 
Nor  wind}'  suspirations  of  forced  breath, 
No,  nor  the  fruitful  river  of  the  eye, 
Nor  the  dejected  haviour  of  the  visage, 
Together  with  all  forms,  modes,  shows  of  gricfj 
That  can  denote  me  truly ;  these  indeed  seem, 
For  they  are  actions  that  a  man  might  play ; 
But  I  have  that  within,  which  passeth  show ; 
These,  but  the  trappings  and  the  suits  of  woe. 


"  These  thoughts  have  made  me  strong  to  check 

The  bitterness  of  grief, 
Have  nerved  my  heart  to  bear  the  pangs 

That  time  brings  no  relief, — 
Yet  I  am  censured,  that  my  love 

For  thee  hath  been  so  brief! 
So  brief!  ah  well !  I  only  ask 

They  may  not  have  to  bear 
One  half  the  loneliness  I  know 

One  tithe  of  my  despair ! " 

OR  a  week  she  saw  no  one.  She  could  not  overcome 
the  sickening  thoughts  that  crowded  upon  her  at  the 
sound  of  a  familiar  voice.  The  duties  of  the  day 
she  passed  through  mechanically,  and  those  perform- 
ed, she  would  lie  upon  the  sofa  for  hours  in  a  dull,  yet  harassing 
reverie.  One  evening  as  she  thus  indulged  a  moody  sorrow,  she 
thought  suddenly  of  Mrs.  Townsend ;  true  she  was  not  an  old  ac- 
quaintance, and  though  she  shrank  from  hearing  those  hateful 
details,  she  .knew  that  Mrs.  Townsend  must  have  heard  all,  and 
would  tell  her  gently  their  import. 

She  was  right,  for  no  one  would  have  approached  more  gently 


"Tell  me,"  said  Mrs.  Jackson,  the  instant  she  could  speak 
after  Mrs.  Townsend's  arrival, — for  she  had  despatched  a  message 
to  her,  ere  she  slept — "  tell  me,  what  do  all  these  stories  mean  ? 
How  have  I  transgressed  the  laws  of  propriety  ?  You  must  have 
heard  all :  of  what  do  they  accuse  me  ?  " 

Mrs.  Townsend  was  at  first  slightly  embarrassed,  but  she 
thought  it  best  after  a  moment's  reflection  to  tell  the  principal 
reports,  and  as  carefully  as  possible  spoke  of  that  with  regard  to 
Mr.  Edward  Jackson,  and  said  that  Dr.  Wheelock's  visits  had 
been  commented  on  by  Miss  Seymour,  who  was  suspected  of  a 
penchant  for  the  doctor  herself.  The  last  suggested  its  own  rise 
at  once,  and  Mrs.  Townsend  passed  over  it  lightly,  interrupted 
only  by  Mrs.  Jackson's  explanation  of  Archie's  constant  and 
irritating  illness,  of  the  past  two  months,  and  Dr.  Wheelock's 
kind  attention ;  —  Archie  having  taken  one  of  those  unaccount- 
able cnldish  dislikes  to  their  family  physician,  Dr.  Chester. 

At  the  first  Mrs.  Jackson  was  too  indignant  for  words,  but  at 
length  spoke  almost  angrily  in  reply. 

"I  have  known  Edward  from  my  childhood/'  said  she.  "He 
was  my  friend  and  counsellor,  ay,  brother,  long  ere  I  became  a 
wife  !  To  whom  should  I  turn  but  to  him  ? ' 

"  It  is  perfectly  natural,  I  own,"  replied  Mrs.  Townsend,  "  and 
I  have  never  blamed  you  in  the  least.  But  perhaps  you  might 
have  been  a  little  more  cautious.  His  lifting,  you  into  the  sleigh 
the  last  time  he  was  here  ?  " 

"  I  had  strained  my  ankle  severely,  but  that  very  morning,  and 
if  you  recollect  could  scarcely  walk  as  far  as  Mrs.  Miller's  two 
days  afterwards." 

"Yes,  I  do  remember  it  well,"  continued  Mrs.  Townsend. 
"  Your  long  rides  are  another  ground  of  comment." 


"  Our  long  rides  ?  I  have  never  been  farther  than  the  factory 
with  him!" 

"  Ah,  that  is  it,  they  of  course  only  judge  by  the  length  of 
your  absence.  His  frequent  visits,  I  can  imagine  necessary  to 
the  arrangement  of  your  business,  and  allow  me  to  say,  though 
you  may  consider  it  an  intrusion,  Mrs.  Jackson,  that  both  my 
husband  and  myself  approve  and  commend  your  unusual  ex- 

Mrs.  Jackson  smiled  gratefully  through  her  tears. 

"What  do  they  call  forgetting,"  said  she,  as  they  once  more 
returned  to  the  principal  charge  made  against  her,  "  if  it  is  to 
think  of  him  by  day,  and  dream  of  him  by  night  j  if  it  is  making 
his  slightest  wish  my  rule  of  action,  trying  to  imitate  his  virtues, 
and  avoiding  all  that  he  has  disapproved  of,  believing  or  at  least 
hoping,  that  he  is  permitted  even  now  to  watch  over  meflfind  ap- 
pealing to  him  in  thought  whenever  I  am  troubled,  teaching^iy  boy 
to  revere  his  memory,  and  training  him  to  take  his  place ;  if  this 
be  forgetfulness,  then  am  I  indeed  at  fault.  I  may  not  wear  a 
widow's  veil,  but  I  have  a  widowed  heart.  My  dress  may  not  be 
of  the  deepest  hue,  but  my  sorrow  is  not  regulated  by  it !  Life 
is  too  earnest  with  me  to  dwell  constantly  upon  the  past,  and  I 
hold  it  to  be  a  fearful  sin  when  one  rebels  madly  against  the 
decrees  of  our  Heavenly  Father.  I  am  sure  you  do  not  misun- 
derstand this  " — and  she  felt  it  was  so,  as  she  saw  the  eyes  that 
sought  her  own  heavy  with  tears. 

Those  who  Jiave  seen  how  bravely  Mrs.  Jackson  had  borne  her 
earlier  trials,  may  wonder  that  this  idle  gossip  so  distressed  her. 
But  strange  as  it  may  seem,  her  husband's  death  had  been  en- 
dured with  twice  the  fortitude.  She  had  been  so  secure  in  con- 
scious innocence,  and  had  cherished  the  memory  of  her  husband 


so  truly,  that  she  had  not  dreamed  any  one  could  for  an  instant 
think  that  she  did  not  love  him. 

"  I  have  no  patience  with  these  gossiping  people/'  said  Mrs. 
Townsend,  as  she  recounted  her  visit  to  her  husband  that  evening. 
"  They  have  caused  Mrs.  Jackson  more  pain,  I  verily  believe, 
than  she  had  borne  before.  One  cannot  help  caring  for  these 
things  and  dwelling  on  them,  though  you  know  they  are  slanders. 
It's  well  enough  to  say  ( don't  mind  it,'  but  when  one  is  left 
alone  among  strangers  as  she  is,  they  are  enough  to  bear  without 
added  misery.  I  am  convinced  and  have  been  from  the  first, 
that  neither  she  nor  Mr.  Edward  Jackson  ever  dreamed  of  mar- 
riage, yet  these  people  will  not  rest  until  they  worry  her  into  an 
illness,  at  least." 

"Nay,  Louisa,"  said  her  husband,  gently,  "you  must  not 
speak  J^rshly  in  your  turn.  Mrs.  Jackson  can  never  be  alone 
whileflhe  trusts  in  Providence  with  such  earnest,  unquestioning 
faith,  and  censure  may  prove  the  finer's  fire  to  her  noble  charac- 
ter. The  purest  gold  you  must  recollect  is  submitted  to  the 
fiercest  furnace." 

"A  fiercer  than  Mrs.  Smith's  tongue  could  scarcely  be  found. 
Poor  Mrs.  Jackson !  I  left  her  a  little  comforted,  and  I  know 
she  will  try  to  stem  the  torrent  bravely,  now  that  she  understands 
its  force." 

And  Mrs.  Townsend  was  right,  though  many  were  the  fearful 
struggles  which  Mrs.  Jackson  passed  through,  and  often  her  very 
heart  failed  her.  Again  and  again  did  she  pray  "  Father,  if  it  be 
possible  let  this  cup  pass  from  me,"  and  at  last  her  petition  was 
granted.  More  than  one  friend,  truly  so,  though  swayed  for  a 
time  by  popular  opinion,  begged  forgiveness,  which  was  kindly 
accorded,  and  the  petty  slanders  were  quietly  but  triumphantly 


refuted.  But  Mrs.  Harden  never  could  be  made  to  believe  that 
she  would  not  marry  Mr.  Edward  Jackson,  until  that  gentleman 
brought  his  pretty  and  accomplished  bride  to  pass  a  week  with 
his  sister,  the  ensuing  spring. 

Even  then  she  remarked  that  she  knew  Mrs.  Jackson  was  dis- 
appointed, and  it  had  served  her  right ;  to  which  observation  Mrs. 
Smith  and  Harriet  responded  fervently. 



"  She  gave  up  all  to  share  his  fate, 

And  now  her  presence  makes  the  light 
That  sunshine  of  his  quiet  home, 
That  else  were  desolate." 

fff^l  HE  description  given  by  Mr.  Edward  Jackson,  of 
Mr.  Townsend,  the  pastor  of  the  Congregationalist 
'   Church,  was — "  a  tall,  sad-looking  man,  who  seemed 

to  have  learned  sympathy  through  sorrow." 
This  last  remark  conveyed  the  impression  made  on  almost  every 
one,  when  he  first  came  among  them.  He  was  always  pale,  as 
if  from  midnight  watchings,  and  his  large  dark  eyes  at  times 
seemed  filled  with  an  expression  of  unutterable  sorrow.  Yet  he 
was  so  gentle  that  the  smallest  child  in  his  congregation  ran  to 
meet  him,  looking  up  into  his  face  with  confiding  love  j  and  were 


any  in  affliction  or  distress,  no  one  could  suggest  more  hopeful 
words  of  consolation.  He  was  always  grave  in  manner,  yet  when 
he  smiled,  a  beautiful  light  illumined  his  whole  countenance, 
giving  it  that  expression  which  some  of  the  old  masters  have 
delighted  to  portray  in  pictures  of  "the  beloved  disciple."  In- 
deed, "  Aunt  Underwood/'  one  of  the  oldest  among  his  charge, 
often  said  she  was  sure  "  the  Apostle  John  must  have  looked  just 
like  her  pastor ;  and  it  was  no  wonder  if  he  did — that  the  Mas- 
ter had  loved  him  better  than  all  the  rest." 

His  wife  was  not  unlike  him  in  gentleness  and  forbearance,  but 
her  manner  was  entirely  different.  She  had  been  the  petted, 
only  child  of  fond  parents,  who  wondered,  as  did  all  her  friends, 
at  her  acceptance  of  Mr.  Townsend,  when  wealthy  and  distin- 
guished men  at  the  same  time  sought  her  love.  She  had  never 
been  allowed  one  act  of  self-denial,  for  her  wishes  were  antici- 
pated from  her  cradle,  and  now  she  laid  aside  the  gaiety  and  idle- 
ness of  her  luxurious  life,  to  become  the  sharer  in  the  humble 
fortunes  of  the  pastor  of  a  village  church. 

They  had  first  met  in  the  saloons  of  fashion,  where  the  young 
lawyer  so  rapidly  rising  in  his  profession,  and  the  beautiful  heir- 
ess, Louise  Warner,  were  the  observed  of  many  eyes.  But 
though  it  was  only  natural  that  mutual  admiration  should  result 
in  deep  regard,  no  one  dreamed  that  this  would  still  continue 
when  "Townsend  had  become  a  mad  religious  enthusiast" — so 
said  his  gayer  friends  —  and  avowed  his  intention  of  forsaking 
the  paths  of  wealth  and  ambition,  for  that  lowlier  way  which  his 
Master  had  through  suffering  trod. 

Her  parents  argued  and  even  pleaded  in  vain.  Her  duty  to 
them  would  not  admit  that  she  should  marry  without  their  con- 
sent, yet  she  declared  her  intention  of  holding  sacred  the  vows 


she  had  plighted  to  one  whom  she  truly  esteemed.  When  they 
saw  that  this  resolution  did  not  arise  from  a  girlish  sentiment- 
ality, but  from  a  sincere  conviction  of  duty  and  an  entire  change 
in  her  hitherto  thoughtless  character,  opposition  ceased. 

"Let  the  child  be  happy  in  her  own  way,"  said  her  father; 
and  so  they  were  united,  and  the  fashionable  world  wondered, 
pitied  them,  and  as  soon  forgot  even  their  existence. 

None  of  their  church  to  whom  he  came  as  a  friend  and  a  guide, 
knew  of  the  self-denial  Mr.  Townsend  had  already  practised,  or 
how  different  was  the  quiet,  humble  life  they  now  led,  from  that 
to  which  they  had  been  accustomed.  Humours  that  Mrs.  Town- 
scnd's  family  were  wealthy,  had,  indeed,  been  borne  to  River- 
town  ;  but  the  inhabitants  decided  it  could  not  be  true,  when  they 
saw  how  plainly  she  dressed  and  how  studiously  she  avoided  any- 
thing like  display.  True  she  had  a  piano,  and  for  a  long  time 
some  of  the  more  rigid  seemed  disposed  to  consider  it  an  unpardon- 
able sin.  Mrs.  Townsend  was  a  fine  musician,  and  did  not  feel 
herself  called  upon  to  close  her  instrument  for  ever,  or  silence  the 
brilliant  voice  on  whose  cultivation  so  much  care  had  been  be- 
stowed. Surely  those  are  "righteous  overmuch"  who  would 
deny  us  the  most  exquisite  and  the  purest  of  earthly  pleasures — 
"the  only  one,"  says  Horace  Walpole,  "we  are  sure  of  enjoying 
still  in  Heaven !"  So  thought  Mrs.  Townsend,  and  so  said  her 
husband,  as,  after  the  day's  weary  duties  were  ended,  he  listened 
to  the  choral  strains  which  Handel  and  Haydn  have  left  to 
keep  their  memory  for  ever  in  the  hearts  of  men. 

"  We  fall  on  our  knees  with  Mozart  and  rise  on  wings  with 
Handel,"  says  a  beautiful  writer;  and  who  among  us  has  not 
felt  a  thrill  of  purest  and  most  rapturous  devotion  when  listen- 
ing to  the  organ's  melting,  surging  strains,  as  well  as  the  grander 


harmony  of  Nature  in  the  pathless  forest  or  beside  the  heaving 
ocean  ? 

It  may  excite  wonder  that  with  the  dearest  wish  of  his  heart 
fulfilled,  and  faithfully  discharging  the  duties  of  his  calling,  Mr. 
Townsend  "should  wear  even  at  times  a  look  of  such  profound 
sorrow.  He  would  sit  for  hours  without  speaking,  as  if  wrapped 
in  painful  thought;  and  when  suddenly  aroused  from  these 
mOods,  you  might  have  noticed  a  wild  expression  dart  from  those 
mournful  eyes,  as  if  regretting  a  return  to  actual  life.  This, 
however,  he  seemed  to  struggle  against,  and  his  young  wife  as- 
sisted him  to  do  so  by  every  gentle  and  winning  attention,  and 
by  a  never-failing  cheerfulness.  Some  one  who  had  first  noticed 
this  despondency  in  their  pastor,  remarked,  also,  the  look  of 
grateful  love  with  which  he  grasped  his  wife's  hand  as  it  left  him, 
and  whispered,  "  Dearest  Louise,  you  are  indeed  my  guardian 

They  had  two  children  at  the  time  Mrs.  Jackson  first  made 
their  acquaintance,  and  Archie  was  soon  the  playmate  of  Henry 
Townsend,  and  joined  with  him  in  a  wondering  admiration  of  his 
baby  sister's  first  attempts  to  say  "  mamma." 

Mrs.  Jackson  saw  with  regret  that  Mr.  Townscnd's  sad  mo- 
ments seemed  to  increase.  He  was  not  so  guarded  as  formerly, 
and  would  often  fall  into  these  moody  abstractions  while  she  con- 
versed with  his  wife,  and  the  children  played  merrily  together. 
Sometimes  he  sighed,  so  long  and  so  deeply  that  they  both  looked 
up  involuntarily ;  and  then  Mrs.  Townsend  would  struggle  for  an 
instant  as  if  with  hidden  pain,  and  again  enter  into  conversation 
as  if  nothing  had  occurred. 

A  casual  observer  would  have  thought  some  gloomy  remorse 
was  preying  upon  his  heart,  and  at  last  Mrs.  Jackson  came  to  a 


similar  conclusion,  and  regretted  that  a  morbid  conscientiousness 
should  lead  him  to  sorrow  so  deeply  over  a  fault  that  he  must 
long  ago  have  repented  of,  however  dark  or  criminal  it  might 
have  been.  Mrs.  Townsend  never  alluded  to  this  peculiarity  in 
her  husband's  conduct,  and  Mrs.  Jackson  felt  that  she  had  no 
right  to  intrude  upon  her  confidence,  although  within  the  last  year 
they  had  become  intimate  and  steadfast  friends. 


"  Men  said  his  brain  was  overcharged  with  thought. 
The  blue  veins  branched  distinctly  on  his  temples ; 
His  lips  had  lost  their  fullness,  and  his  blood 
Fled  with  hot  haste  unsummoned  to  his  brow. 
He  had  grown  captious,  difficult,  unlike 
His  former  self."  EDITH  MAY. 

I  HE  morning  services  were  concluded.  The  day  was 
oppressively  warm,  though  it  was  yet  early  in  the 
spring,  and  extempore  fans,  in  the  shape  of  pocket- 
handkerchiefs  and  hymn-book  covers,  had  been 
actively  in  motion  throughout  the  sermon.  Mr.  Townsend  looked 
even  paler  than  usual  when  he  descended  from  the  pulpit,  and 
stood  in  the  centre  aisle  to  speak  with  Deacon  Whiting,  who 
awaited  him  there.  Placing  his  hand  kindly  on  the  head  of  the 
littlo  girl  who  clasped  her  father's  hand,  he  stood  for  an  instant 
in  earnest  conversation,  and  then  passed  on,  with  a  kind  word  for 
Maggie  as  he  left  her. 

Deacon  Morrison  bustled  through  the  crowd  still  lingering  in 
the  vestibule,  and  inquired  officiously  for  his  health. 


"i  was  telling  wife  to-day,"  said  he,  "that  I  shouldn't  won- 
der if  you  had  a  long  spell  of  sickness,  you  've  looked  so  nale 
lately,  and  seemed  so  absent-minded — a  brain-fever,  or  something 
of  that  sort/'  he  added,  consolingly. 

A  look  of  pain  shot  over  the  listener's  face,  but  he  said, 
"  The  weather  has  been  so  oppressive  the  past  week,  tha-t  it  has 
unnerved  me ;  particularly,  as  I  have  had  many  visits  to  pay,  and 
several  funerals  to  attend  in  the  country.  How  are  all  your 
family  ?  " — and  Mr.  Townsend  made  a  movement  to  go  forward. 

"Well  as  common,  I  believe,"  was  the  reply;  and  Deacon 
Morrison  stepped  into  a  vacant  place  nearer  the  door,  as  if  to  bar 
the  progress  of  his  pastor. 

There  was  a  little  quickness  in  the  bow  and  farewell  that  fol- 
lowed, for  Mr.  Townsend  seemed  anxious  not  to  be  detained; 
and  with  a  look  of  disappointment,  Deacon  Morrison  turned  to 
Mr.  Whiting,  and  placing  his  arm  familiarly  in  that  of  his  good 
neighbour,  began  to  complain  of  the  "rudeness"  he  had  just 

"I  did  not  see  anything  like  that,"  said  Deacon  Whiting. 
("  Run  on  to  your  mother,  Maggie.)  Had  you  anything  parti- 
cular to  say?" 

"  Why  no,  not  exactly ;  I  only  thought  I  'd  ask  his  opinion 
about  Widow  Haynes  being  able  to  get  along  without  help  from 
the  church,  and  whether  he  thought  Aunt  Underwood  would  live 
the  summer  out,  and  what  they  were  likely  to  do  with  young 
Allen — whether  the  church  would  take  any  action  or  not  on  his 
going  to  the  theatre  and  the  Long  Island  races  the  last  time  he 
was  in  New  York." 

"  I  think  you  are  mistaken  about  the  last,  John " 

"  No,  I  ain't.    James  Farren  was  with  him,  and  he  told  Har- 


riet  Harden,  she  told  Mrs.  Smith,  and  Mrs.  Smith  told  Miss 
Martin,  and  Miss  Martin  told  me.  Now,  if  that  ain't  straight, 
I  don't  know  what  is.  But  Mr.  Townsend  might  have  waited 
a  minute,  it  seems  to  me.''' 

"  He  was  scarcely  able  to  get  through  the  sermon,  John.  I 
could  see  how  his  lips  trembled,  long  before  it  was  finished.  And 
you  held  him  here  right  in  the  hot  sun.  Then  he 's  got  to  be  in 
the  Sunday  School  and  preach  this  afternoon,  besides  the  six 
o'clock  prayer-meeting,  and  the  sermon  this  evening.  You  surely 
would  give  him  time  to  eat  his  dinner." 

"As  to  the  six  o'clock  prayer-meeting,  he  ain't  obliged  to 
come.  It  was  my  plan  altogether,  and  I  guess  I  'm  able  to  lead. 
I  knew  how  apt  we  were  to  let  the  mind  run  on  other  things 
just  about  sundown,  when  we  can't  read  or  anything,  and  I 
thought,  particularly  for  the  young  people,  'twould  be  an  excel- 
lent plan." 

"  Yes,  particularly  for  those  boys  and  girls  who  write  notes  to 
each  other  in  the  hymn-books,  and  turn  all  they  have  heard  into 
ridicule  going  home  together.  See  what  I  found  in  the  blank 
leaf  of  my  own  Bible,  I  happened  to  leave  in  the  conference 
room  last  Friday." 

Mr.  Whiting  took  a  crumpled  bit  of  paper,  on  which  two 
different  and  equally  ungraceful  styles  of  chirography  might  be 
distinctly  traced,  reading  as  follows  : — 

"  May  I  walk  to  meeting  with  you  to-night  ?  " 

"Ma  says  I  mus'n't  go  with  you  any  more.  Take  care  — 
Deacon  Morrison's  looking." 

"  I  don't  care  if  he  is.  Did  you  ever  hear  such  a  long-winded 
prayer?  Somebody  always  looks  so  consequential,  like  the 



'Here  I  sit  and  don't  you  see — 
Don't  you  wish  that  you  was  me  ? ' 

"Oh  gracious!  don't!" 

Deacon  Morrison  reddened  as  he  finished  the  perusal  of  this 
precious  MS. 

"If  I  could  find  out  who  did  that,  I'd— I'd " 

"  No,  you  wouldn't  do  anything,  neighbour  Morrison,  because 
you  couldn't.  I  wouldn't  have  shown  it  to  you,  only  I  never 
did  like  the  idea  of  those  prayer-meetings,  and  I  wanted  to  let 
you  see  they  do  more  harm  than  good.  Besides,  it  don't  allow 
us  one  minute  in  the  day  to  '  commune  with  our  own  hearts  and 
be  still,'  as  we  are  told  to." 

"Well,  well,"  said  Mr.  Morrison,  "every  one's  not  gifted 
alike — my  talent 's  for  prayer  and  your'n  for  meditation,  I  sup- 
pose. But  don't  you  think  Mr.  Townsend  acts  very  strangely 

"  I  had  not  noticed  anything,  only  that  he  did  not  look  well." 

"That's  just  it;  I've  heard  more  than  one  wonder  what  it 
could  be.  Sometimes  he 's  all  fire  and  animation,  then  again  he 's 
so  low-spirited  you  can't  get  a  word  out  of  him. 

"  We  all  have  our  ups  and  downs,  John,  and  I  'm  afraid  Mr. 
Townsend  has  too  much  care  and  labour  upon  him." 

"  He  hard  worked !  Why,  a  minister  don't  know  nothing 
about  getting  tired.  What  does  he  have  to  do  but  set  there  at 
home  in  his  comfortable  study,  as  he  calls  it,  and  write  a  little — 
maybe  a  sermon  or  two  a  week?  " 

"  We  defined  a  part  of  his  labours  just  now.  Our  day  of  rest 
is  the  most  wearisome  of  all  the  week  to  him.  Then  he  has  to 
visit  among  all  of  us.  You  know  how  hurt  some  feel  if  they 
don't  see  him  at  least  once  a  month.  Then  there's  funerals  to 


attend,  and  he  often  goes  miles  into  the  country  for  that.  And 
sermon-writing  might  be  easy  to  you,  but  I  'd  rather  stand  behind 
the  counter  or  overlook  apprentices  from  morning  till  night  than 
•write  two  sermons  any  week." 

"You're  always  so  unreasonable,  Deacon  "Whiting;  you're 
always  defending  everybody  that's  wrong.  For  my  part,  I  haven't 
got  so  much  charity  for  the  whole  world,  and  I  'm  willing  to  con- 
fess it.  I  've  watched  our  minister  a  long  tune,  and  I  've  made 
up  my  mind  about  his  case.  I  've  been  intending  to  speak  to 
you,  and  I  might  as  well  out  with  it.  It 's  as  clear  as  daylight 
to  me — he  drinks!" 

"  Oh,  John,  what  have  you  said !  Take  care,  I  beg  of  you. 
For  the  sake  of  the  church,  and  of  every  one,  never  say  that 

"  The  truth 's  the  truth,  and  we  've  all  a  right  to  speak  it." 

"  Wait  until  you  are  sure  it  is  the  truth  before  you  accuse  a 
man — and  that  man  your  own  minister — of  such  a  thing." 

""Well,  I'll  prove  it  to  you,"  said  the  other,  doggedly,  with- 
drawing his  arm,  as  they  had  arrived  at  Deacon  Whiting's  house. 

"  Promise  me  that  you  will  not  speak  to  any  one  else  about  it 
until  you  have  done  so." 

The  good  man  rested  his  hand  on  the  door-knob  and  looked 
imploringly  into  Mr.  Morrison's  face.  He  was  inexpressibly 
shocked  at  what  he  had  just  heard. 

"I  never  make  no  promises,"  was  the  reply,  as  the  other 
hurried  away. 

Portraits  of  the  two  might  be  sketched  in  a  few  words,  but 
•vve  take  pleasure  in  recalling  the  excellencies  of  the  elder  of  the 
colloquists.  He  was  not  much  over  fifty,  but  his  hair  was  white 
and  his  face  was  furrowed,  showing  that  he  had  not  escaped  his 


share  of  life's  grief  and  disappointment.  The  kindest  of  husbands 
and  fathers,  quoted  by  all  who  knew  him  as  the  most  upright 
and  honourable  merchant  in  the  place,  a  friend  to  the  poor,  and 
a  guardian  to  the  fatherless  and  the  widow,  more  than  one  spoke 
his  name  with  blessings.  Many  thought  it  strange  that  he  had 
not  become  wealthy,  for  customers  were  never  wanting  at  his 
counter — a  steady  and  sure  businsss  had  been  under  his  control 
for  years.  Those,  however,  who  knew  his  unceasing  acts  of 
benevolence,  who  recollected  that  he  was  the  Gaius  of  the  church, 
entertaining  all  strangers  hospitably,  often  offering  a  home  for 
weeks  to  their  new  pastors,  however  numerous  the  family; 
and  moreover,  that  as  church  treasurer  he  had  more  than  onco 
supplied  the  deficiency  of  the  year's  receipts  from  his  own  purse 
— those  who  recalled  these  things  wondered  not  that  close  economy 
was  necessary  in  the  expenses  of  his  own  large  family.  Some- 
times hasty  in  rebuke,  but  never  intentionally  unkind,  he  was 
loved  by  all  his  associates,  and  almost  reverenced  by  the  younger 
members  of  the  church;  while  every  one  agreed  that  he  had 
"much  treasure  in  Heaven." 

Mr.  Morrison  was  in  many  things  the  reverse  of  this  picture. 
How  he  had  ever  obtained  the  office  of  deacon  was  a  wonder  to 
those  who  knew  him  best.  He  was  fitted  for  it  neither  by  educa- 
tion nor  piety,  they  said,  and  was  many  years  younger  than  his 
coadjutor.  He  was  jealous  of  the  respect  which  Deacon  Whiting 
received  from  the  community  at  large,  as  well  as  in  their  own 
circle,  and  ambitious  of  a  like  popularity.  "The  balance  of 
power"  was  a  favourite  theory  with  him,  (though  we  question 
if  he  had  even  heard  of  the  science  of  Political  Economy,)  but 
he  liked  the  scales  always  to  weigh  heaviest  on  his  side.  At  first 
he  had  been  the  trumpeter  of  Mr.  Townsend's  good  deeds  and 


good  qualities.  The  quiet  opposition  of  that  gentleman  to  his 
favourite  scheme  of  six  o'clock  prayer-meeting  had  been  the  first 
ground  of  offence,  and  now  he  lost  no  opportunity  to  express  his 
discontent  and  disapprobation  openly. 


"  Men  in  general  may  be  divided  into  the  inquisitive  and  the  communi- 
cative.  In  one  particular,  all  men  may  be  considered  as  belonging  to 

the  first  grand  division — inasmuch  as  they  all  seem  equally  desirous  of 
discovering  the  mote  in  their  neighbour's  eye." — BIGELOW  PAPERS. 

HAT  '8  the  good  word  with  you,  this  morning  ?" 
was  the  greeting  of  an  acquaintance  to  Lawyer 
McCloud,  as  he  strolled  into  that  gentleman's 

"  Nothing  particular,"  was  the  reply,  as  Mr.  McCloud  kicked 
a  dusty  Windsor  chair  towards  his  visitor  without  removing  his 
thumbs  from  the  arm-holes  of  his  vest,  in  which  they  were  care- 
fully inserted. 

"What's  in  'The  Republican?'" 
"Haven't  seen  it,  sir." 

"  Well,  I  suppose  '  The  Rivertown  Gazette '  has  the  most  of 
the  news.  Speaking  of  news,  have  you  heard  what  a  row  the 
Congregationalists  have  got  into?" 

"  No.    What  about — property  ?    Likely  to  end  in  a  lawsuit  ?  " 
"Always  an  eye  to  the  main  chance,  lawyer.    'T won't  end  in 
nothing,  as  I  can  see.   They  've  got  dissatisfied  with  their  minister, 


as  usual,  and  are  doing  their  best  to  be  rid  of  him — at  least, 
Deacon  Morrison  is." 

"  I  did  think  they  'd  got  somebody  at  last  that  they  'd  manage 
to  keep.  What's  the  ground  of  complaint  now ?  Let's  see — 
Mr.  Ritchings  they  dismissed  while  he  was  away,  without  any 
particular  cause  at  all.  The  sum  and  substance  was,  (I've  always 
thought,)  that  his  family  was  getting  large,  and  they  don't  pay 
up  very  punctually.  Next  Mr.  Lord,  a  single  man — ought  to 
live  on  a  small  salary,  and  all  that;  but  it  seems  he  paid  too 
much  attention  to  one  deacon's  daughter  and  too  little  to  another's 
sister.  Mr.  Gibson  didn't  visit  enough,  and  his  wife  had  tea 
companies  too  often.  You  see,  I  remember  all  these  things — 
though  everybody  in  town  knows  their  church  matters,  as  to 

"Poor  Mr.  Townsend!  he's  got  the  worst  of  it,  neighbour 
McCloud.  They  actually  declare  the  man  drinks ! " 

"  Pretty  serious  charge.  Wish  it  was  actionable  —  damages 
might  be  laid  high.  Ruins  his  reputation  of  course ;  and  servant 
girls  and  ministers  must  depend  on  their  characters  for  getting 

"Lawyers  do  without  any,  don't  they?"  and  the  speaker 
chuckled — that  long,  low  laugh,  betokening  all  absence  of  care 
and  a  love  for  the  good  things  of  this  life  in  general. 

The  lawyer  smiled  complacently  at  the  worn-out  joke,  and  the 
two  subsided  into  a  lengthened  political  discussion,  "the  tariff" 
and  the  "  sub-treasury  "  movements  then  before  Congress,  being 
canvassed  with  a  zeal  that  might  have  done  some  good  could  it 
have  infected  those  to  whom  the  decision  had  been  entrusted. 

By-tho  way,  it  is  scarcely  a  wonder  that  Harriet  Martincau 
should  say — "  Americans  seem  to  consider  making  politics  the 


end  and  aim  of  education."  They  pay  men  for  making  their 
laws,  and  not  content  with  this,  sit  at  home  and  abuse  or  glorify 
them,  as  the  case  may  be,  while  they  are  doing  so.  The  discus- 
sion of  congressional  politics  is  varied  by  a  dip  into  local  elections ; 
they  in  turn  give  place  to  conventions  for  new  nominations,  and 
while  hours  and  days  are  thus  wasted,  we  ladies  are  abused  for  a 
study  of  the  fashion  plates  and  an  indulgence  in  a  little  charming, 
purely  feminine  desire  of  looking  as  well  as  possible  on  the 
smallest  means.  Which  ought,  in  candour,  to  be  deemed  the 
lesser  waste  of  time  ? 

By  early  autumn,  the  affair  of  Mr.  Townsend's  failing  was  the 
popular  topic  of  discussion  everywhere.  Bar-room  loungers 
spoke  of  it  as  an  excellent  example,  as  they  tossed  off  innumer- 
able "  brandies  and  water."  Frequenters  of  groceries  (and  stores 
are  the  popular  gathering-places  in  Bivertown  after  the  day's 
work  is  over)  discussed  the  weakness  of  human  nature  as  dis- 
played in  this  particular  instance,  while  they  leaned  languidly 
upon  counters  or  beat  an  energetic  tattoo  against  the  flour-barrels 
serving  as  pedestals  to  their  greatness.  Many  a  one  paused,  in 
his  eager  demolition  of  pea-nuts,  to  add  his  mite  of  evidence ;  and 
the  consumption  of  "  honey-dew  tobacco "  was  perceptibly  di- 

One  thought  it  was  a  scandal  to  the  cause  of  religion,  and  the 
church  ought  to  go  to  work  at  once  and  make  him  an  example. 
Another — who  regarded  all  clergymen  as  a  higher  order  of  his 
own  class,  "loafer" — said  he  always  knew  the  whole  set  were 
hypocrites,  and  only  "took  up  preaching  for  a  living  because 
they  were  too  lazy  to  do  anything  else;"  and  some  few  truly 
regretted  that  so  vile  a  tale  should  gain  any  credence  what- 


Still  no  public  cognizance  of  the  subject  had  been  taken. 
The  rumour  did  not  seem  to  have  reached  Mr.  Townsend  him- 
self; as  is  often  the  case,  the  parties  most  concerned  knew  least 
about  it;  and  still  his  amiable  wife  came  as  a  spirit  of  good 
among  his  people,  and  their  pastor  was  unusually  eloquent  when 
he  addressed  them  from  the  pulpit. 

The  church  had  become  divided  into  factions  that  were  nearly 
equal  in  number.  Some  refused  to  believe  one  word  of  the 
charge,  and  others,  headed  by  Deacon  Morrison  and  stimulated 
by  the  active  exertions  of  Mrs.  Smith  and  Miss  Martin,  lost  no 
opportunity  of  making  converts  to  their  side  of  the  question. 
Even  outward  quiet  could  not  long  be  maintained. 

"  What  can  I  do  ?  "  said  Deacon  Whiting  one  evening  to  his 
matronly  wife.  "  There 's  the  whole  church  in  a  state  of  fer- 
ment, and  none  of  them  are  willing  to  come  out  openly.  I  've 
thought  over  it,  and  I  've  prayed  over  it,  and  I  don't  know  what 
is  my  duty.  How  can  I  go  and  tell  that  poor  man  how  we  have 
repaid  his  love  and  care?" 

"  Don't  say  we,"  interrupted  Mrs.  Whiting,  indignantly. 

"  Well,  some  of  us  have,  my  dear ;  and  some  one  must  have 
corrupted  the  truth  if  there  is  no  such  fault  on  his  part.  He 
does  act  strangely  sometimes,  there 's  no  doubt.  There 's  some 
mystery  somewhere,  but  on  the  whole,  I  incline  to  think  it's  best 
to  call  a  special  church  meeting.  What  was  it  Miss  Martin  told 
you  this  afternoon?" 

"  Why,  that  sometimes  he  got  so  bad  that  he  actually  beat  her. 
You  know  how  thin  the  walls  of  those  houses  are,  and  their  next- 
door  neighbours  have  heard  her  cry  in  the  middle  of  the  night 
as  if  her  heart  would  break.  Then  he  walks  out  sometimes  at 
twelve  o'clock  —  and  that  'B  odd,  to  say  the  least.  They  have 


heard  her  beg  and  beseech  of  him  (Miss  Martin  says)  not  to  go 
on  so,  but  it  seems  to  do  little  good." 

"  This  is  getting  to  be  a  serious  business,  mother,"  and  the 
good  man  joined  his  hands  behind  him,  thereby  elevating  his 
coat-skirts,  and  slowly  promenaded  the  sitting-room.  "Too 
bad  —  too  bad!"  he  ejaculated,  at  last,  stopping  suddenly  and 
pushing  his  spectacles  to  the  top  of  his  forehead,  as  he  always  did 
when  anything  perplexed  him.  Mrs.  Whiting  sighed,  and  ap- 
plied herself  still  more  industriously  to  darning  an  enormous 
basket-full  of  children's  stockings. 


"  I  drink  the  bitter  cup  ! 
I  drink — for  He  whom  angels  did  sustain 
In  the  dread  hour  when  mortal  anguish  met  him, 
When  friends  forgot  and  deadly  foes  beset  him, 

Stands  by  to  soothe  my  pain. 
I  drink  —  for  thou,  O  God,  preparedst  the  draught 
Which  to  my  lips  thy  Father-hand  is  pressing  ; 
I  know  'neath  ills  oft  lurks  the  deepest  blessing — 

Father,  the  cup  is  quaffed !" 

MRS.  C.  M.  SAWYER. 

HE  crisis  came  sooner  than  it  had  been  looked 
for,  and  was  brought  about  most  unexpectedly. 
^  f  With  all  her  apparent  calmness,  Mrs.  Townsend 
had  known  for  weeks  what  her  friends  had  vainly 
endeavoured  to  hide.  Miss  Martin  came  first  to  condole  with 
her,  and  when  she  found  her  still  in  ignorance,  would  havo 
given  full  particulars,  but  Mrs.  Townsend  refused  to  listen,  simply 


saying,  "  Of  course  you  denied  the  report  as  being  without  even 
a  foundation."  But  Miss  Martin  was  not  silenced  everywhere; 
and  when  she  told  Mrs.  Smith  of  her  visit,  she  added  that  in 
coming  out  she  had  met  the  girl  on  the  very  door-step  with  a 
flask  of  something,  that,  "if  it  wasn't  brandy,  it  surely  wasn't 
spring-water,"  and  the  girl  did  not  attempt  to  deny  it.  If  that 
was  not  a  foundation  and  something  more,  she  could  not  tell 
what  was.  And  Miss  Martin  made  more  converts  than  ever. 

Mrs.  Townsend  never  alluded  to  Miss  Martin's  visit,  but  now 
that  she  had  a  clue,  the  cause  of  the  dissatisfaction  which  was 
very  evident  in  the  church,  was  no  longer  a  mystery.  She 
"  pondered  upon  these  things  in  her  heart/'  and  day  by  day  she 
grew  less  hopeful  that  the  aspersions  would  be  cleared  from  her 
husband's  character  without  his  being  made  aware  of  their  exist- 
ence. Had  she  confided  her  trouble  to  some  one,  it  would  have 
been  better  in  the  end,  for  now  she  brooded  over  it,  trying  in 
vain  to  conjecture  the  rise  of  the  new  gossip,  and  forming  vain 
plans  to  silence  it. 

One  day  she  had  been  more  sad  than  usual.  A  letter  from 
her  old  home  had  pictured  vividly  the  luxuries  and  enjoyments 
from  which  her  own  choice  had  for.  ever  debarred  her,  and  a 
strong  temptation  to  repine  at  her  present  unhappiness  had 
struggled  with  her  better  nature.  Her  children  were  both  ill; 
she  was  weary  with  watching  over  their  resiles^  sleep,  and  withal, 
alarmed  at  the  feverish  symptoms  which  had  appeared  in  Henry's 
short,  quick  breathing,  and  -flushed  cheek.  She  was  thus  ill- 
prepared  to  welcome  her  husband  cheerfully  from  his  round  of 
pastoral  visits,  and  started  with  alarm  as  he  entered,  looking  pale 
and  haggard,  as  if  from  recent  and  fearful  mental  emotion.  She 
saw  that  concealment  was  no  longer  necessary,  for  the  sigh,  as  he 


took  her  hand,  and  the  long,  sad  gaze  he  fastened  upon  her,  told 
that  he  knew  all. 

"  Then  you  have  heard  this  terrible  story,  Louisa  ?  You  know 
that  my  labours  were  not  accepted — that  God  has  seen  fit  to  put 
an  end  to  my  usefulness?" 

"  Do  not  say  so,  my  love ;  I  am  sure  the  cloud  will  pass  away ! 
;T  is  but  a  trial  sent  for  our  good.  Remember, 

'  Behind  a  frowning  Providence 
He  hides  a  smiling  face,' " 

she  said,  trying  to  smile  also  as  she  spoke. 

He  drew  her  head  down  upon  his  shoulder,  but  he  only  said — 
"  My  poor  wife  —  my  poor  Louisa." 

This  despondency  did  not  last;  the  Christian  triumphed,  and 
they  knelt  together  to  pray  that  "  all  things  might  work  together 
for  good." 

Mrs.  Townsend  did  not  know  until  weeks  afterwards  how  sud- 
denly and  severely  the  blow  had  fallen.  In  visiting  one  of  the 
poorest  families  connected  with  the  church,  Mr.  Townsend  had 
found  the  husband  of  his  parishioner  loading  his  shrinking  wife 
with  abuse,  even  threatening  her  with  personal  violence  in  his 
wild  inebriation.  Mr.  Townsend  thought  it  but  right  to  remon- 
strate, and  in  return  was  told,  in  the  coarsest  language,  "not  to 
preach  what  he  did  not  practise;"  and  on  demanding  an  expla- 
nation, the  wife  related,  with  tears  and  assurances  that  she  did 
not  believe  it,  all  that  our  readers  have  already  heard. 

"I  told  Deacon  Morrison,"  said  the  poor  woman,  "I  knew  it 
was  not  true,  whoever  said  it ;  but  he  came  for  William  to  do  a 
job  for  him,  and  I  did  n't  like  to  say  much.  William  don't  get 
work  often." 


Suspicion  thus  awakened,  Mr.  Townsend  began  to  realize  in 
its  full  extent  the  toils  in  which  he  was  involved.  He  saw  that 
the  better  part  of  the  community  watched  him  curiously ;  that 
the  servant  was  daily  subjected  to  cross-examinations  on  their 
family  affair§,  and  more  than  once  he  was  openly  reminded  that 
he  had  fallen  under  reproach.  His  wife  tried  to  be  cheerful,  but 
her  health  and  spirits  had  suffered.  His  own  melancholy  in- 
creased. There  seemed  to  be  a  cloud  between  him  and  Heaven 
when  he  attempted  to  pray,  and  he  shrank  from  instructing 
publicly  those  who  evidently  regarded  him  as  a  hypocrite.  He 
consulted  Deacon  Whiting :  the  good  man's  troubled  face  told 
how  earnest  was  his  sympathy,  as  he  urged  a  public  denial  of  the 

Mr.  Townsend  shook  his  head  mournfully.  "  I  admit  some 
of  them,"  said  he.  "  Louisa's  unhappiness — my  midnight  walks 
— there  has  been  some  foundation,  but  I  shrink  from  the  expla- 
nation. Cannot  it  be  put  down  quietly?" 

"  I  fear  not — I  know  it  is  impossible,"  was  the  reply;  "it  has 
gone  so  far  and  become  so  generally  known." 

The  more  Deacon  Whiting  thought  over  this  conversation,  the 
more  he  was  puzzled.  If  Mr.  Townsend  had  a  clear  conscience, 
why  not  come  out  openly  at  once?  Yet  dark  as  it  was,  Mr. 
Whiting  still  defended  his  minister,  and  would  not  admit  even  to 
himself  that  there  was  any  fault  to  be  imputed. 

Many  a  sorrowful  struggle  shook  the  soul  of  the  minister  of 
God ;  he  knew  that  by  his  silence  he  was  bringing  shame  upon 
the  church  and  the  Master  whom  he  served.  Yet  he  shrank 
from  having  his  disgrace  publicly  proclaimed,  and  quite  as  much 
from  the  only  defence  he  could  urge. 

While  thus  meditating  one  evening,  he  received  a  summons 


to  attend  a  church  council  and  defend  himself  against  the  charges 
made  by  a  large  portion  of  his  congregation.  Mrs.  Townsend 
saw  him  compress  his  lips  as  the  note  was  handed  to  him,  and 
guessed  its  import. 

"  Tell  them  all/'  she  said ;  "  it  is  a  morbid  fear  in  which  you 
have  indulged.  Ask  Grod's  assistance,  His  protection.  We 
must  leave  this  place  and  this  people,  but  do  not  let  a  stain  rest 
upon  your  name." 

The  evening  appointed  for  the  trial  came.  Mr.  Townsend  had 
passed  the  whole  day  alone  in  his  study — no,  not  alone,  for  the 
shadow  of  a  mighty  Presence  filled  the  room  •  and  in  this  lofty 
communion  the  sorely-tried  had  found  strength  and  consolation. 

A  light  step  crossed  the  threshold  with  the  twilight,  and  the 
wife  for  whom  he  was  that  moment  praying,  stood  beside  him. 
A  smile  of  gentle  encouragement  shone  in  her  eyes  as  she  fondly 
kissed  his  high  white  forehead,  from  which  he  had  pushed  back 
the  masses  of  his  dark  hair. 

"I  feel  this  most  for  you,  Louisa,"  he  said,  as  he  clasped  her 
hand.  "  If  your  mother,  your  father  should  hear  of  the  sorrow, 
the  disgrace  I  have  brought  upon  their  idol,  how  could  I  answer 

"  They  never  can  hear  of  it,  we  are  so  remote  from  their  cir- 
cle. See" — and  she  held  up  a  letter  before  him — "  here  is  a 
long,  kind  message  from  mamma.  I  have  not  opened  it  yet ;  I 
have  kept  it  to  entertain  me  this  evening,  to  sustain  my  spirits 
while  you  are  absent.  It  would  be  sad,  indeed,  were  they  to 
learn  what  has  passed." 

She  did  not  say  more,  but  she  knew  that  these  parents  would 
not  easily  overlook  such  a  stain — so  they  would  consider  it — and 


would  regard  with  less  allowance  than  ever  a  marriage  to  which 
they  had  yielded  a  reluctant  consent. 

The  study  grew  quite  dark  as  they  sat  there,  neither  speaking 
for  some  time.  It  was  well  that  Mr.  Townsend  could  not  see 
the  fearful  traces  of  anxiety  and  illness  in  the  languid  expression 
that  stole  over  his  wife's  face,  and  the  effort  she  made  to  control 
her  emotion  that  she  might  not  unnerve  him.  Nor  did  he  notice 
it  when  they  parted,  though  the  firelight  revealed  the  long  and 
earnest  gaze  with  which  she  seemed  to  read  his  inmost  thoughts. 
After  he  had  left  the  house,  a  recollection  of  how  strangely  ten- 
der her  last  kiss  had  been,  and  how  long  she  had  clasped  his 
hand,  came  over  him  with  a  fear  of  some  undefined  ill,  and  he 
turned  to  retrace  his  steps.  "  What  a  foolish  thought,"  he  half 
murmured,  and  once  more  hurried  onward. 

By  Mr.  Townsend's  own  request,  every  member  of  the  church., 
male  and  female,  had  been  invited  to  be  present.  The  vestry, 
or  conference  room  as  it  was  oftener  called,  was  nearly  full, 
therefore,  when  he  entered.  He  passed  through  their  midst  with 
a  firm  step,  and  took  his  usual  seat  confronting  them  all ;  yet 
when  the  light  fell  upon  his  face,  Deacon  Whiting,  who  sat  at 
his  right  hand,  instinctively  filled  a  glass  of  water  and  offered  it 
to  him.  The  sad,  sweet  smile  we  have  before  spoken  of,  came  to 
his  face  as  he  gently  refused  the  proffered  kindness,  and  more 
than  one  regarded  it  as  an  omen  of  returning  peace  to  the  church 
and  happiness  to  him. 

It  was  usual  to  commence  all  their  meetings  for  business  or 
otherwise,  by  reading  a  chapter  from  the  Bible,  and  by  an  extem- 
pore prayer.  Mr.  Townsend  rose,  as  his  watch  marked  the  ap- 
pointed hour,  and  commenced  reading  the  beautiful  description 
of  Charity  found  in  St.  Paul's  first  letter  to  the  Corinthians.  He 


did  not  mean  it  as  a  rebuke  to  any,  but  he  had  been  doubly 
impressed  with  its  excellency  of  late,  and  it  was  for  his  own  con- 
solation that  he  had  fixed  upon  it  for  the  evening.  More  than 
one  heart  filled  with  compunction  as  his  clear  voice  read — "  Cha- 
rily suffereth  long,  and  is  kind  ;  charity  envieth  not ;  charity 
vauntelh  not  itself,  is  not  puffed  up  ;  doth  not  behave  itself  un- 
seemly ;  sceketh  not  her  own  ;  is  not  easily  provoked  ;  thinketh 
no  evil ;  rejoiceth  not  in  iniquity,  but  rejoiceth  in  the  truth ;  bear- 
elh  all  things ;  believeth  all  things ;  hopeth  all  things ;  endureth 
all  things." 

He  paused  for  an  instant,  and  then  turning  over  the  leaves 
rapidly,  added  a  short  passage  from  St.  John's  earnest  exhortation 
to  the  early  Christians  to  "let  brotherly  love  continue."  Deacon 
Whiting  stole  a  glance  towards  his  coadjutor,  as  these  words  were 
slowly  enunciated — "We  know  that  we  have  passed  from  death 
unto  life,  because  we,  love  the  brethren ;  he  that  loveth  not  his 
brother  abideth  in  death?' 

But  if  anything  like  consciousness  of  offence  was  written  upon 
that  self-complacent  face,  it  was  not  seen  by  those  around  him. 

The  prayer  that  followed  came  from  the  depths  of  a  suffering 
heart.  All  felt  this  as  the  earnest  petition  ascended  to  Heaven, 
and  a  fervent  "amen"  was  breathed  by  Deacon  Whiting  at  its 
concluding  phrase — "let  brotherly  love  continue." 

Mr.  Town  send  then  made  a  short  statement  of  the  object  of 
the  meeting.  "  I  have  come  before  you  to-night,"  he  said,  "to 
vindicate  myself  as  a  man  and  a  Christian,  from  charges  which 
I  believe  untrue.  But  before  I  make  my  defence,  I  must  first 
hear  my  accusation.  I  leave  to  Deacon  Whiting  the  charge  of 
this  council,  and  shall  consider  myself  as  having  no  part  in  it 
until  my  time  to  speak  arrives." 


Deacon  Whiting  glanced  toward  Mr.  Morrison.  "  He  cannot 
have  the  effrontery,"  thought  he,  "  to  accuse  our  minister,  after 
that  chapter  and  that  prayer ;"  and  when  the  other  rose  and  pre- 
pared to  speak,  he  more  than  half  expected  an  humble  apology. 
But  his  expectation  was  disappointed.  In  a  speech  of  some  half 
an  hour's  duration,  remarkable  neither  for  clearness  nor  elegance 
of  language,  Deacon  Morrison,  as  the  spokesman  of  his  party, 
set  forth  the  many  complaints,  that  had  grown  from  suspicions 
to  positive  assertions,  of  Mr.  Townsend's  habitual  inebriety.  Dea- 
con Whiting  interrupted  the  thread  of  his  narrtive  now  and  then 
with  some  question  or  palliation  of  the  statements  made.  The 
two  pillars  of  the  church  were  tacitly  arrayed  against  each  other, 
and  more  than  once  Deacon  Whiting's  indignant  glances  would 
have  abashed  one  less  dogged  and  self-complacent  than  the 

"  One  or  two  "  lesser  lights"  arose  to  confirm  his  statements, 
as  they  were  successively  called  upon.  These  were  men  of  the 
same  stamp,  ignorant  and  prejudiced,  who  were  only  too  happy 
to  find  occasion  for  differing  from  Deacon  Whiting.  Miss  Mar- 
tin nodded  her  head  as  her  statement  was  given,  and  Mrs.  Smith 
stood  up  to  signify  her  assent  where  she  had  been  made 

The  principal  points  in  the  evidence  apart  from  what  we  have 
already  mentioned,  were  Miss  Martin's  having  seen  Mr.  Town- 
send  walk  to  the  dining-room  closet,  after  having  been  very  much 
agitated,  and  pour  out  a  glassful  of  some  liquid  which  he  drank 
hastily ;  she  had  been  sewing  in  the  house  at  the  time.  Mrs. 
Smith  had  more  than  once  seen  Martha,  Mrs.  Townsend's  ser- 
vant, bring  home  a  flask  of  brandy  j  Deacon  Morrison  had  often 
conversed  with  Mr.  Townsend  "  when  he  did  not  kno^v 


was  about,  and  either  did  not  answer  at  all,  or  else  in  a  very  queer 
kind  of  way." 

It  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  Mr.  Townsend  listened  calmly 
to  all  this.  Sometimes  his  emotion  would  be  betrayed  only  in 
a  nervous  contraction  of  the  features,  and  again  he  would  half 
rise,  as  if  to  refute  some  charge  indignantly,  and  then  recollect- 
ing himself,  sat  down  again  and  covered  his  face  with  his  hands. 
Those  in  favour,  sighed  and  shook  their  heads  as  Deacon  Morri- 
son glanced  triumphantly  around;  but  from  the  moment  Mr. 
Townsend  rose,  all  was  changed.  There  was  a  proud  and  con- 
scious innocence  in  the  look  he  bent  upon  the  late  speaker,  though 
his  lips  were  ashen,  and  his  voice  at  first  low  and  tremulous. 

After  regretting  that  he  should  have  been  the  cause  of  any 
disturbance  in  the  peace  that  should  be  among  them  as  brethren 
and  sisters,  he  said  that  but  for  the  reproach  it  had  brought  upon 
the  church,  he  would  have  borne  this  evil-speaking  in  silence. 
That  which  he  was  now  about  to  tell  them  had  been  unknown  to 
him,  until  accident  had  revealed  it,  a  few  months  after  he  came 
among  them.  He  had  been  an  orphan  from  earliest  recollection, 
and,  reared  among  strangers,  had  known  little  of  his  own  family. 
The  papers  of  his  father  had  never  come  under  his  notice  until 
some  business  arrangement  made  it  necessary  they  should  be 
placed  in  his  hands.  Then,  to  his  horror,  he  found  that  the  curse 
— it  would  seem  such — of  hereditary  insanity  had  destroyed  his 
father ;  and  an  elder  brother,  whose  existence  had  been  kept  from 
him,  had  died  not  many  years  before,  the  inmate  of  a  mad-house. 
His  mother's  friends  had  hoped  that  by  carefully  concealing  this 
from  him,  and  by  a  judicious  mental  training,  the  fearful  cntail- 
ment  might  be  broken. 

Since  boyhood,  even — he  could  scarcely  account  for  it — he  had 


felt  a  peculiar  horror  of  insanity.  From  the  moment  he  made 
the  discovery  which  he  mentioned,  it  had  preyed  upon  him,  not- 
withstanding a  continual  struggle  against  it.  For  himself,  it 
mattered  little  what  suffering  he  was  called  on  to  undergo;  but 
he  never  ceased  to  reproach  himself  that  the  happiness  of  others 
was  now  imperilled,  and  that  his  fair  children  might  live  to  be 
included  in  the  doom  which  he  felt  would  sooner  or  later  overtake 
him.  Of  his  wife  he  could  not  trust  himself  to  speak.  They 
would  never  know  how  much  she  had  renounced  for  his  sake,  or 
how  courageously  she  had  met  this  new  sorrow.  Sometimes  when 
fears  amounted  almost  to  frenzy,  and  self-reproach  became  mo- 
mentary madness,  she  had  soothed  him  to  the  calmness  he  had 
sought  in  vain  under  the  still  heavens  at  midnight;  and  he  had 
now  learned  for  the  first  time,  that  in  his  absence  she  had  yielded 
to  violent  grief. 

Visitors  might  have  seen  him  using  a  composing  draught, 
which  had  become  often  necessary  to  his  excited  nervous  system ; 
and  during  the  late  illness  of  his  oldest  child,  bathing  in  some 
alcoholic  fluids  had  been  recommended  by  Doctor  Chester.  That 
was  probably  the  solution  of  the  last  charges,  but  of  this  he  knew 

Once  more  he  alluded  to  his  regret  that  his  own  sorrow  should 
have  occasioned  dissension  and  wrong  understanding  among  them, 
and  that  those  who  felt  themselves  aggrieved  had  not  come  at 
once  to  him  for  explanation.  But  he  cast  not  the  shadow  of 
reproach  on  any  one,  save  that  once  he  looked  sorrowfully  towards 
his  principal  accuser.  It  was  such  a  look  as  the  Master  might 
have  given  to  his  erring  disciple,  but  it  did  not  move  the  self- 
willed,  stubborn  man. 

A  murmur  of  surprise,  indignation  and  compassion  filled  the 


silence  which  followed  this  sadly  eloquent  appeal.  More  than 
one  woman  wept  aloud,  and  men  who  had  seen  much  sorrow 
forced  back  the  starting  tears. 

Then  they  crowded  around  their  pastor  to  express  the  sympa- 
thy all  felt,  and  some  humbly  begged  his  forgiveness  that  they 
should  have  allowed  themselves  to  be  so  deceived.  Amid  this 
movement,  the  principals  of  the  opposite  party  disappeared.  Dea- 
con Morrison  hurried  away,  that  he  might  not  witness  the  evi- 
dences of  his  own  defeat;  Miss  Martin  and  Mrs.  Smith  were 
completely  subdued,  and  followed  him  out  quickly. 

On  the  threshold  they  met  a  messenger  pale  and  breathless, 
who,  as  he  passed  into  the  group  still  surrounding  their  pastor, 
could  only  point  towards  the  house  Mr.  Townsend  had  so  lately 
left,  and  say  — "  Quick,  quick,  for  God's  sake,  or  you  will  be 
too  late!" 

Before  the  close  of  that  short  week,  a  sad  and  silent  crowd 
gathered  in  the  house  so  lately  the  abode  of  quiet  domestic 

One  by  one  they  passed  into  the  darkened  room,  and  stood 
beside  the  coffin  of  her  who  had  been  an  angel  of  consolation  to 
them  all.  A  smile  of  peace  dwelt  on  the  still  features ;  the  long 
lashes,  never  again  to  be  upraised,  rested  upon  the  cheek  hence- 
forth to  know  not  the  moisture  of  bitter  tears.  So  holy,  so  calm 
was  that  perfect  repose,  that  those  who  were  weeping  involuntarily 
checked  the  expression  of  their  grief.  Why  weep  for  her  ?  At 
rest  from  all  pain,  lying  there  so  peacefully,  with  her  babe  clasped 
to  her  heart — the  babe  that  had  but  glanced  at  the  light  of  earth, 
and  then  closed  its  soft  blue  eyes  willingly,  to  be  borne  in  the 
arms  of  a  dying  mother  "into  the  silent  land." 


When  the  simple  rite  was  nearly  ended,  and  they  were  per- 
paring  to  close  the  coffin  for  the  last  time,  one  bent  over  it  that 
refused  to  be  comforted.  The  last  three  days  had  stamped  the 
mark  of  years  upon  their  pastor's  haggard  face.  There  was  a 
wildness  in  the  glance  he  sent  among  his  people,  that  made  every 
one  shudder  with  the  fear  that  the  fate  he  dreaded  was  come 
upon  him;  but  this  changed  to  an  indescribable  expression  of 
yearning  agony,  when  he  lifted  his  wondering  children  for  the 
last  look  upon  their  mother's  face.  Then  came  a  still  and  gentle 
woman,  far  older,  but  much  like  the  mother  of  these  little  ones, 
and  a  stern  man,  whose  face  softened  for  an  instant  as  he  gazed 
into  the  coffin,  but  instantly  settled  again  to  a  harsh  and  resolute 

Those  who  pitied  all  the  stricken  group,  and  would  willingly 
have  borne  a  part  of  their  suffering  for  them,  did  not  know  that 
the  father  of  the  dead  cursed  in  his  heart  the  man  who  had  won 
his  daughter  from  her  early  home,  even  while  he  looked  upon 
her  holy  face,  nor  that  his  harsh  threat  of  forcing  her  to  return 
thither,  conveyed  in  the  letter  she  had  so  fondly  welcomed,  was 
the  immediate  cause  of  all  this  desolation. 

How  the  slanders,  to  whicn  he  gave  full  credence,  had  reached 
Mr.  Warner,  was  never  known,  but  they  had  caused  his  hasty 
resolve  to  withdraw  her  from  a  protection  he  had  never  fully 
assented  to,  and  the  cruel  letter  had  proved  the  death-blow  to  her 
already  overburdened  heart. 

Mr.  Townsend  did  not  go  mad ;  though,  with  a  knowledge  of 
his  history,  many  feared  that  he  would  become  a  maniac.  His 
sorrow  seemed  after  a  time  a  thing  apart  from  actual  life,  and  he 
entered  as  earnestly  as  ever  upon  the  duties  of  his  calling.  A 
chastened  expression  of  sadness  became  habitual  to  his  face ;  the 


smile  so  many  loved  became  more  rare  than  ever.  He  could  not 
stay  where  every  thing  excited  some  agonizing  recollection  of  the 
past,  but  in  a  new  sphere,  and  surrounded  by  those  who  appre- 
ciated his  singularly  elevated  character,  he  fulfilled  a  round  of 
unostentatious  and  benevolent  labour.  His  people  saw  him 
always  calm  and  rarely  outwardly  depressed,  but  they  did  not. 
know  of  the  hours  in  which  he  "wrestled  with  hidden  pain." 
The  solace  of  his  children's  society  was  rarely  accorded  to  him. 
They  are  growing  up  in  the  house  in  which  their  mother's  child- 
hood had  been  passed,  and  will  inherit  the  wealth  which  was  her 
rightful  portion. 

The  first  cause  of  this  strange  and  fearful  sundering  of  a  happy 
family,  was  altered  little  by  the  consequences  of  his  malicious 
slander.  True,  he  was  degraded  from  his  office  of  deacon,  and 
for  an  interval  shut  out  from  the  communion  of  the  church,  but 
he  only  vouchsafed  the  remark  "  that  he  did  n't  mean  to  make 
no  mischief,  and  it  all  came  of  Deacon  Whiting's  taking  it  up  so 

Deacon  Whiting  at  length  ceased  trying  to  account  f  >r  the 
mysterious  Providence  that  had  sent  so  severe  a  trial  upo.i  an 
innocent  and  truly  excellent  man. 

"  God  knows  best  though,"  he  would  say  to  his  wife,  "  and  I 
suppose  it 's  all  right.  I  've  often  thought  our  minister's  wife 
was  getting  too  good  for  this  world,  but  unless  it  was  what  made 
us  all  really  charitable  towards  each  other,  and  careful  in  particu- 
lar as  to  what  we  say  about  our  neighbours'  failings,  I  don't  see. 
why  she  might  not  have  been  taken  to  Heaven  without  suffering 
all  she  did.  However,  we  have  n't  changed  our  minister  since, 
and  before  that  no  one  ever  stayed  with  us  over  two  years." 

It  would  be  hard,  indeed,  were  we  to  attempt  to   explain 


why  the  innocent  are  so  often  the  greatest  sufferers  in  this  weary 
world ;  and  many  a  heart  would  utterly  fail,  were  it  not  for  a 
firm  trust  that  all  these  things  shall  be  known  and  approved 

Our  sketch  has  more  than  its  foundation  in  reality. 



"  Let  more  than  the  domestic  mill 

Be  turned  by  Feeling's  river ; — 
Let  Charity  "  begin  at  home," 
But  not  stay  there  for  ever." 


UR  readers  may  recollect  that  a  project  was  set  on 
foot  in  Rivertown  to  establish  an  Orphan  Asylum. 
This  may  perhaps  seem  an  unnecessary  institution 
in  a  country  place,  but  recollect  that  Rivertown 
claimed  by  right  of  incorporation  to  be  a  city,  and  there  is  always 
more  or  less  wretchedness,  poverty  and  want,  in  the  narrow  lanes 
and  dusty  streets  of  every  suburb.  The  lower  part  of  the  town 
which  bordered  upon  the  river,  was  composed  almost  entirely  of 
low  wooden  houses,  which  had  been  among  the  first  buildings 
erected  at  the  time  of  its  settlement,  and  were  now  rotten  and 
dilapidated.  These  were  principally  inhabited  by  boatmen, 
negroes,  and  in  fact  the  sediment  of  the  population.  This  unin- 


teresting  district  was  familiarly  termed  "  Wapping  " — and  was 
rarely  entered  by  the  better  class,  save  on  some  charitable 
errand,  or  when  an  extra  "  washerwoman  "  was  to  be  hunted  up 
from  among  the  idle  and  wretched  creatures  that  inhabited  it.  In 
some  such  excursions,  the  ladies  of  the  "Tract  Distribution 
Society  "  had  noticed  several  children  who  seemed  to  have  no 
claim  on  any  one,  and  were  ignorant  in  the  extreme.  They  were 
supported  after  a  way  of  their  own  by  the  different  families  of 
the  district,  for  it  is  a  well-known  fact  to  those  who  have  visited 
much  among  the  poorer  classes  of  society,  that  they  are  often 
more  truly  generous  than  those  who  have  the  means  to  give 

These  children  refused  to  go  to  the  county  poor-house,  which 
was  considered  an  open  disgrace ;  and  besides  these,  there  was  now 
and  then  some  child  of  more  respectable  but  equally  destitute 
parents,  left  to  the  solitary  lot  of  orphaned  poverty. 

There  was  no  reason  why  these  should  not  be  comfortably 
cared  for.  Mrs.  Townsend,  who  had  often  visited  our  best  city 
institutions  of  the  kind,  at  once  proposed  an  Orphan  Asylum. 
They  could  rent  a  convenient  house  until  one  could  be  built  ex- 
pressly for  them,  and  a  suitable  person  could  be  found  at  once  to 
take  charge  of  the  institution. 

Benevolence  became,  on  the  instant,  a  mania  in  Eivertown. 
Even  the  children  were  infected,  and  the  little  girls,  we  beg  their 
pardon,  the  young  ladies  of  the  French  Seminary — instituted  a 
sewing  and  charitable  society.  This,  however,  proved  rather  an 
unfortunate  movement,  if  it  be  true  "that  charity  begins  at 
home."  There  was  a  quarrel  at  the  outset,  as  to  who*  sh,ou£l ' 
have  the  honour  of  the  official  appointments, — the  Secretary  re- 
fusing to  serve  because  she  was  not  President,  and  the  Treasurer 


being  equally  indignant  that  she  was  nominated  third  in  command. 
One  visiting  committee  of  two  was  appointed,  who  lost  their 
slippers  in  the  mud  of  the  unpaved  alleys,  and  splashed  their 
pantalettes  to  a  "terrible  degree.  Besides  this,  not  being  au  fait 
in  such  matters,  they  gave  mortal  offence  to  one  old  lady  by  en- 
tering her  room,  and  asking  if  she  "was  very  poor/'  because 
they  saw  no  carpet  on  the  floor,  a  sufficient  indication  hi  their 
eyes  of  extremest  penury.  Their  next  attempt  was  repulsed  by 
— "  Whose  child  be  you  ?  Won't  you  just  mind  your  own 
business?" — and  on  the  whole,  the  little  ladies  "retired  in 

At  the  first  quarterly  meeting,  the  report  was  as  follows : — 

"  ON  HAND — Four  pair  of  woollen  socks  knit  by  twenty-seven 
different  young  ladies. 

"  Two  coarse  shirts  commenced. 

**'  Three  small  aprons  spoiled  in  cutting  out  by  Miss  Bradley. 

"  Five  night-caps  finished  all  but  the  strings,  the  borders,  and 
sewing  in  the  crowns. 

"  Sixty-two  cents  in  the  Treasurer's  hands,  and  all  the  officers 

The  society  called  a  meeting  of  its  creditors  and  ceased  to  exist. 
But  first  there  arose  a  terrible  broil  on  account  of  the  disappear- 
ance of  the  "  cash  in  hand,"  from  the  treasurer's  work-box,  and 
that  young  lady,  of  course,  falling  under  the  suspicion  of  defal- 
cation, she  was  at  once  removed  from  school  by  her  indignant 
mamma,  who,  from  the  hour  of  departure,  lost  no  opportunity  to 
speak  ill  of  the  Seminary — its  teachers,  and  the  mothers  of  the 
three  principal  accusers  of  her  "  darling  Sarah  Ann." 

But  to  turn  from  this  junior  display  of  misplaced  benevolence, 
which  we  should  not  have  dwelt  upon,  but  that  it  daguerreotypes 


so  many  mismanaged  schemes  for  good,  that  have  ended  with 
similar  disastrous  results. 

For  a  time  the  project  of  the  Orphan  Asylum  progressed  de- 
lightfully. The  house  selected  for  the  purpose  had  been  furnished 
by  the  contributions  of  different  ladies,  and  the  matron  of  the 
establishment  seemed  really  to  love  the  fifteen  motherless  little 
creatures  placed  under  her  charge.  But  the  novelty  wore  off — 
dissatisfaction  arose  among  the  managers,  and  a  few  months  after 
the  death  of  their  former  director,  Mrs.  Townsend,  the  crisis  of 
their  poverty  arrived.  Winter  was  at  hand — fuel  and  comfort- 
able clothing  must  be  provided,  and  there  was  not  a  dollar  to 
commence  their  purchases  with. 

At  this  juncture,  Mrs.  McCloud,  the  wife  of  the  principal 
lawyer  in  Rivertown,  proposed  the  popular  expedient  of  a  fair. 
Miss  Seymour,  who  thus  beheld  a  grand  opportunity  for  social 
gatherings  in  perspective,  eagerly  seconded  the  proposal.  Mrs. 
Jackson  rather  discouraged  the  movement  at  first,  but  finding 
that  it  was  decided  on,  resolved  to  lend  any  assistance  in  her 
power,  as  did  Mrs.  Jorden,  who  was  once  more  re-established  in 
her  northern  home,  her  health  being  fully  restored,  and  herself 
as  happy  as  the  devotion  of  her  husband  could  make  her. 

It  was  October  when  the  first  movement  was  made,  and  it  was 
decided  that,  from  that  time  until  December,  which  was  appointed 
as  the  end  of  their  labours,  they  should  meet  for  the  purpose  of 
preparing  fancy  articles,  etc.,  once  every  week.  Their  meetings 
were  to  be  held  alternately,  at  the  houses  of  the  committee, 
which  consisted  of  the  ladies  above  mentioned  with  Mrs.  Miller, 
who  is  also  an  old  acquaintance. 

Meanwhile  storekeepers  and  milliners  were  besieged  for  "  rem- 
nants" and  "pieces" — while  a  standing  advertisement  was 


placed  in  a  conspicuous  part  of  the  "  Republican  "  and  the  River- 
town  "  Gazette/'  to  the  effect  that  donations  would  be  thankfully 
received  by  the  committee  at  their  respective  residences. 

The  young  ladies  worked  most  industriously  at  pin-cushions 
and  needle-books,  while  dolls  enough  to  supply  several  rising 
generations  were  distributed  for  the  completion  of  their  wardrobes. 
Younger  sisters  were  pressed  into  the  service,  and  made  to  hem 
towels,  or  quilt  "holders"  for  the  " kitchen  table,"  and  consul- 
tations were  held  over  receipt-books,  that  the  greatest  quantity 
of  cake  should  be  made  with  the  smallest  possible  outlay. 


"  Ah,  fair !    Yes,  a  fair !    So  delightful, 

We  work  for  it  day  after  day ; 
There  are  several  liberal  donations, 

And  the  pin-cushions  cannot  but  pay. 
To  be  sure  papa  calls  it  a  '  humbug,' 

And  says  it  is  '  thieving  outright ' — 
But  think  of  the  charming  flirtations 

We  can  carry  on  night  after  night ! " 

REPARATIONS  progressed  rapidly.  The  excite- 
ment was  really  wonderful.  There  had  been  fairs 
before,  frequently;  Presbyterian  fairs  —  Baptist  — 
Episcopalian;  but  none  in  which  all  could  meet  on 
harmonious  grounds — and  the  display  was  expected  to  be  particu- 
larly brilliant. 

The  last  meeting,  or  sewing  circle,  had  been  held.     If  the 
ground  had  not  been  already  occupied  by  one  whose  descriptions 


are  Hogarthian  in  their  graphic  humour,  we  should  be  tempted 
to  trace  them  through  to  their  completion.  But  the  "  malice  and 
uncharitableness  "  of  sewing  societies  in  general,  have  been  placed 
before  you  by  the  inimitable  author  of  the  Bedott  papers,  and 
our  feebler  descriptions  would  fall  far  short  of  those  she  has  so 
clearly  painted. 

The  fair — they  do  not  call  them  "  bazars  "  as  yet,  in  Rivertowu 
— was  to  be  held  in  the  large  hall,  which  served  variously  for 
"  twenty-five-cent  concerts  "—(those  with  an  entrance  fee  of  fifty 
were  more  genteel,  and  invariably  held  in  the  large  dining-par- 
lours  of  the  Rivertown  House) — temperance  lectures,  and  ex- 
hibitions of  giants  or  dwarfs,  as  the  case  might  be. 

This  building  had  once  been  the  county  jail,  but  afterwards 
had  been  modernized  by  some  speculators,  and  the  front  being 
covered  with  cement  in  imitation  of  marble,  it  was  thenceforth 
known  as  the  "City  Hall" — an  ambitious  title  that  provoked 
more  than  one  allusion  to  "whited  sepulchres. " 

In  the  upper  room  of  this  edifice,  our  committee  were  now 
assembled.  It  was  in  the  morning  of  the  day  they  had  announced 
the  festival  to  open,  but  it  was  an  "undress  rehearsal;"  and 
matters  looked  dismal  enough.  The  bare  white-washed  walls 
seemed  ashamed  of  their  very  blankness,  and  impatient  to  be 
decorated  by  the  evergreen  wreaths  and  branches,  in  process  of 
preparation  by  a  band  of  younger  ladies.  Here,  Adeline  Mitchell 
presided,  and  thitherward  were  directed  many  withering  and  con- 
temptuous glances  from  Miss  Harriet  Harden,  who  seemed  more 
bitter  than  usual  toward  her  ci-devant  friend.  Perhaps  it  was 
that  she  now  considered  herself  quite  above  such  an  acquaintance, 
having  succeeded,  to  all  appearance,  in  getting  up  an  astonishing 
intimacy  with  Miss  Seymour,  who  called  her  "  you  dear  creature," 


in  the  hearing  of  them  all,  numberless  times.  The  Smith  faction 
declared  it  was  just  a  way  Miss  Seymour  had  of  getting  things 
out  of  people,  and  Harriet  Harden  would  find,  they  guessed,  that 
both  she  and  Mrs.  McCloud  would  alter,  after  all  this  fuss  was 
over.  But  it  remained  yet  to  be  proved,  and  meantime  Harriet 
Harden  was  extremely  confidential  with  her  new  friends,  never 
seeming  to  mind  that  they  managed  to  make  her  do  thrice  as 
much  as  any  of  them. 

"  Just  run  over  and  get  some  tacks  from  Mr.  Williams,  there 's 
a  dear  soul,"  said  Mrs.  McCloud,  who,  with  her  hair  in  curl 
papers,  seemed  the  presiding  genius  of  the  hour.  "  Tell  him 
they  're  for  us,  and  he  won't  charge  you  anything*  Oh,  and  stop 
into  Rosine's  and  mention  that  she  needn't  put  quite  so  many 
eggs  into  the  ice-cream ;  I  shall  want  two  or  three  dozen,  I  find, 
to  finish  icing  that  cake.  Mrs.  Morrison  promised  to  lend  me 
her  cake-basket,  and  astral  lamp — you  won't  mind  fetching  them 
just  from  there,  will  you  ?  Oh,  and  Miss  Harden,  do  stop  at 
our  house,  and  tell  Susan  that  I  shan't  be  home  to  dinner ! " 

So  her  "  obedient  servant"  departed  on  errands  which,  under 
any  other  circumstances,  she  would  not  have  stooped  to  perform ; 
and  returned  weary  and  breathless  to  hear,  "  I  shall  depend  on 
you  to  count  all  the  spoons  as  they  come  in,  and  to  furnish  lamps 
for  the  supper  table;  where  shall  you  go  to  borrow  them?" 
Mrs.  McCloud's  friendship,  like  that  of  other  ladies  we  have  met, 
required  the  return  of  constant  and  wearisome  service.  She  was 
one  of  those  people  who  are  Napoleons  in  a  small  way,  and  like 
all  power  or  none.  Here,  for  instance,  although  there  was  no 
nominal  president  of  the  committee,  she  invariably  acted  as  such, 
and  when  requesting  the  other  ladies  to  do  anything,  always 
said — "  Just  do  this  for  me,  won't  you  ?  "  as  if  she  was  respon- 


sible  to  a  fearful  extent,  and  all  assistance  was  regarded  in  the 
light  of  a  personal  favour. 

The  others  smiled  at  so  plain  a  demonstration  of  her  well- 
known  disposition,  and  came  good-naturedly  to  the  conclusion, 
"  To  even  let  her  hold  the  reins,  while  they  showed  her  the  way 
to  go;"  a  species  of  management  long  ago  recommended  by 
advice  and  example  with  regard  to  the  masculine  portion  of  the 

As  usual,  disputes  had  arisen  with  regard  to  the  various  stands 
or  stalls.  All  wanted,  in  the  first  place,  to  be  at  the  "fancy 
table" — pronounced  by  general  consent  the  best  situation  in  the 
room — and  no  person  was  found  willing  to  undertake  the  books, 
or  the  kitchen  department.  Here  Mrs.  Jackson's  tact  was  ad- 
mirably displayed.  She  pointed  out  to  the  malcontents  that  the 
ice-cream  was  sure  to  be  patronized  most  by  the  gentlemen ;  that, 
though  one  couldn't  sell  much  at  the  book-table,  the  confinement 
was  less  than  that  of  either  of  the  others,  and  there  was  more 
time  for  a  grand  promenade.  But  the  crowning  stroke  of  her 
policy  was  whispering  to  a  pretty  school-girl,  that  gentlemen 
(whatever  they  might  say)  always  looked  for  a  wife  who  under- 
stood housekeeping;  and  to  the  astonishment  of  all,  she  shortly 
after  professed  herself  perfectly  ready  to  undertake  the  depository 
of  towels  and  tin-ware,  and  was  noticed  for  her  particular  zeal 
and  success  in  vending  those  uninteresting  commodities. 

Miss  Barnard  and  Mrs.  Jorden  had  succeeded  in  arranging  a 
picturesque  tent  with  the  assistance  of  a  variety  of  "  firemen's 
banners,"  which  were  the  pride  and  boast  of  as  many  companies. 
These  banners  were  frequently  in  demand  for  the  decoration  of 
ball-rooms,  etc.,  and  the  lady  in  a  remarkably  blue  dress,  (the 
primest  figure  of  the  most  noticeable  one,)  had  looked  frantic  at 


the  destruction  of  her  house,  husband,  and  children,  for  several 
years  past,  through  every  variety  of  conviviality,  and  a  perpetual 
reproof  to  those  who  danced  and  feasted  quite  regardless  of  her 

This  tent  was  to  serve  as  the  post-office  —  and  at  the  head  of 
this  department  Mrs.  Jorden  had  been  unanimously  appointed. 
Miss  Brown,  a  young  lady  who  pleaded  guilty  to  the  authorship 
of  various  poetical  effusions,  contributed  to  one  of  the  Philadel- 
phia Saturday  papers,  was  her  assistant.  Miss  Brown's  assumed 
signature  was  "  Rosalie  de  Nugent/'  and  she  blushed  very  deeply 
when  addressed  as  Rosalie,  by  the  young  law-students  who  were 
in  the  secret,  and  said  "  Oh,  don't ! "  in  the  prettiest  expostulating 
tone  imaginable. 

"  When  do  you  think  your  picture  will  appear  in  the  maga- 
zines?" whispered  one  of  these  gentlemen  as  he  sorted  the 
various  mysterious-looking  missives,  that  had  been  contributed  by 
impromptu  Lady  Montagues,  and  modern  Sevignes. 

"  Mine  ?  oh,  Mr.  Van  Allen !  how  could  you  dream  of  such  a 

"Why  not,  Rosalie?  I'm  sure  you've  been  writing  these 

two  years.  Does  not  Mr. always  call  you  '  our  graceful  and 

accomplished  correspondent/  and  did  not  l  Hector'  ask  the  colour 
of  your  eyes  some  time  ago?  I've  noticed  that  last  is  an  infal- 
lible sign  that  the  editor  intends  asking  an  authoress  to  sit  for 
her  picture.  Why  shouldn't  yours  appear  as  well  as  Mrs.  El- 
let's  and  Mrs.  Osgood's,  and  all  the  rest  of  you  literary  ladies?" 

The  last  pleasing  association  of  her  name  with  actual  writers, 
was  quite  too  much  for  good-natured  little  Miss  Brown.  She  re- 
turned an  inexpressibly  grateful  look,  and  was  observed  to  com- 
mence practising  her  autograph  at  once.  She  resolved  that  it 


should  not  be  the  ungraceful  scrawl  she  had  seen  appended  to 
more  than  one  published  portrait. 

Order  at  length  began  to  spring  from  the  chaos  of  house  and 
storckeeping  furniture,  that  had  been  steadily  accumulating  since 
morning.  The  rough  pine  tables  were  covered  with  snowy 
damask,  and  their  contents  arranged  with  neatness  and  taste. 
Even  the  aforementioned  kitchen-table  had  become  absolutely 
ornamental  by  a  picturesque  arrangement  of  bright  tin-ware,  and 
the  addition  of  some  few  lighter  articles  to  its  legitimate  store. 
Mrs.  McCloud  called  upon  the  rest  to  admire  the  general  effect, 
as  if  she  was  the  main-spring  and  immediate  cause  of  all  they 
saw,  while  the  young  ladies,  wearied  and  pale  from  incessant  and 
unusual  occupation,  were  almost  too  tired  to  be  pleased  with  any- 
thing, and  wondered  how  they  should  ever  accomplish  a  becoming 
toilette,  and  return  by  seven  o'clock. 

One  after  another  departed  for  an  hour  of  rest  and  refresh- 
ment, and  the  hall  was  left  to  the  care  of  the  door-keeper,  until 
the  illumination  of  the  lamps  so  liberally  distributed,  should  dis- 
turb the  twilight  shadows. 



M  'T  was  rather  strange,  the  people  thought — 

What  could  his  business  be  ? 
But  soon  conjecture  ended  with — 

'  He 's  rich,  and  thirty-three' — 

And  so  affairs  went  on,  and  he 

Was  welcomed  everywhere ; — 

The  older  ladies  liked  his  cash — 

The  younger  liked  his  hair." 

Poems  by  C.  S.  EASTMAN. 

ELL,  here  we  are  again!"  was  Mrs. 
McCloud's  salutation  to  Miss  Seymour,  as 
she  took  off  her  hood,  and  arranged  the 
prettiest  little  cap  imaginable.  "  Have 
they  all  got  here  ?  "  and  she  turned  from  the  small  mirror  to  cast 
a  furtive  glance  into  the  next  room,  through  the  half-opened 

"  Here  's  Mrs.  Miller's  shawl,  and  Mrs.  Jordan's  hood,"  was 
the  reply — "  I  '11  contrive  to  get  the  pattern  of  that,  somehow, 
this  evening;  she  brought  it  home  from  Washington.  Yes, 
and  Miss  Brown's  muff  is  over" there,  and  Miss  Barnard  must 
have  come  with  the  Jacksons,  for  that 's  her  old  cloak,  right  by 

"  I  suppose  we  're  late,  then,  but  Harriet  Harden  promised  to 
be  here  before  the  lamps  were  lighted  and  see  to  everything  ou 
our  table.  What  should  we  have  done  if  we  hadn't  have  ma- 
naged to  get  so  much  out  of  that  girl  ?  she'd  do  anything  to  get 
into  our  set." 


"  I  believe  you.  Come,  are  you  ready  ?  "  and  the  two  ladies 
sallied  out  of  the  little  dressing-room,  giving  a  last  glance  at  the 
ten  inch  mirror  as  they  did  so. 

What  was  their  astonishment,  and  Mrs.  McCloud' s  indignation, 
to  find  no  Miss  Harden  at  the  deserted  post.  Only  two  half- 
grown  girls  to  support  the  entire  dignity  of  the  cake  table  I 
Mrs.  McCloud  looked  around  the  room ;  the  delinquent  was  not 
among  the  really  brilliant  assembly ;  no  one  had  seen  her,  and 
in  fact,  she  was  the  last  of  all  the  amateur  shop-keepers  to 
enter  the  room.  When  she  did,  all  eyes  were  turned  upon  her, 
for  she  was  leaning  on  the  arm  of  a  tall,  gentlemanly-looking 
man,  apparently  some  thirty-five  years  of  age,  and  an  entire 

The  buzz  of  inquiry  commenced  directly.  Mrs.  McCloud  for- 
got the  reprimand  she  had  duly  prepared,  (though  she  afterwards 
took  care  to  administer  it  sharply,)  to  ask  who  "  her  distinguished- 
looking"  friend  was.  Miss  Harden  looked  more  triumphant  than 
ever,  when  she  whispered  it  was  a  gentleman  they  had  met  the 
summer  before  in  Berkshire  county.  "  Immensely  rich,  and  a 
widower,"  she  added,  with  affected  consciousness. 

«  You  don't  say  ?     What 's  he  here  for  ?  " 

"  That 's  best  known  to  himself;  he  arrived  this  afternoon, 
and  stops  at  the  Rivertown  House."  Miss  Harden' s  lips  said 
this;  her  manner  hinted  that  it  was  very  plain  !  Of  course  he 
had  come  to  renew  his  acquaintance  with  her." 

Mr.  Gould  was  introduced  to  Mrs.  McCloud,  who  received  him 
very  graciously,  and  made  him  known  to  Miss  Seymour.  But  as 
he  shortly  after  proposed  a  tour  of  the  room,  Miss  Harden  again 
took  his  arm,  and  sailed  away  gloriously. 

Of  course  they  stopped  at  the  fancy  table,  and  were  charmed 


with  the  dolls  and  the  pin-cushions ;  Miss  Harriet  was  agonized 
lest  he  should  discover  the  pretty  night-caps,  and  chance  to  ad- 
mire them  also.  Here  several  purchases  were  made  by  Mr.  Gould, 
who  seemed  very  liberal,  and  they  were  quite  loaded  with  small 
parcels,  when  they  moved  on.  Harriet  was  made  to  accept  a 
toilette  cushion  she  had  manufactured  herself,  and  a  similar  gift 
was  held  in  store  for  her  mother. 

Mrs.  Harden,  by  the  way,  was  in  ecstasies  at  her  fair  daugh- 
ter's triumph.  That  Mr.  Gould  came  to  Rivertown  at  all  was  un- 
expected good  fortune,  but  that  he  should  arrive  in  the  very 
"  nick  of  time,"  as  she  eloquently  expressed  it,  was  too  much  for 
her  parental  sympathy  and  pride.  Known  only  to  their  family, 
he  was  bound  to  them  in  a  measure,  whatever  acquaintances  he 
might  afterwards  make,  and  she  was  delighted  to  see  the  impres- 
sion his  widowerhood  and  reputed  wealth  made  at  once  on  the 
ladies  of  Rivertown,  for  by  this  time  the  story  was  whispered 
throughout  the  hall,  with  additions  and  alterations.  Some  de- 
clared Mr.  Gould  was  positively  a  millionaire,  and  had  come  to 
offer  his  fortune  and  himself  for  Miss  Harden's  acceptance. 
Others  said  he  had  proposed  the  very  moment  of  his  arrival, 
while  this  was  disputed  by  a  third  party  who  knew,  from  the 
best  authority,  that  he  had  not  yet  committed  himself,  but  in- 
tended to  do  so  on  the  way  home,  or,  at  latest,  the  next  morning 
before  breakfast.  Mrs.  Folger  hinted  that  they  might  have  been 
engaged  ever  since  the  last  summer,  and  he  had  come  on  now  to 
be  married.  Mrs.  Smith  scorned  such  a  probability — "  How  is 
it  possible,"  said  she,  "  that  she  could  have  kept  it  from  us  all 
this  time  ! "  How,  indeed  ! 

The  walk  of  Mr.  Gould  and  his  fair  companion  of  course 
ended  at  the  ice-cream  table.  All  promenaders  make  a  halt  at 


that  interesting  stand.  There  is  such  a  nice  opportunity  for  a 
little  flirtation  as  you  lean  against  the  pillars  and  trifle  with  your 
spoon.  It  is  a  post  of  observation,  likewise,  and  if  you  have  aa 
escort  you  are  anxious  should  be  noticed  in  attendance  upon  you, 
this  is  the  place,  of  all  others,  to  be  patronized.  Harriet  pecked 
at  the  "  vanilla/'  and  looked  up  at  her  companion  with  a  sweet 
timidity  that  would  have  become  one  of  the  Seminary  young 
ladies.  A  full  attendance  of  those  interesting  misses  was  to  be 
noticed,  by  the  way,  who  talked  and  giggled,  flirted  and  romped 
with  the  clerks  of  the  various  dry-goods  stores,  and  the  younger 
law-students  before  mentioned. 

So  here  stood  our  heroine,  as  long  as  a  very  small  saucer  of 
ice-cream,  furnished  for  "  sixpence,"  would  afford  a  pretext ;  with 
the  delightful  consciousness  that  all  the  young  ladies  were  envy- 
ing her,  and  even  the  Jordens  had  asked,  in  her  hearing,  who 
that  fine-looking  stranger  was.  And  then  she  was  reluctantly 
compelled  to  return  to  her  duties  at  the  cake-table,  to  the  peril 
of  leaving  Mr.  Grould  to  play  the  agreeable  to  Miss  Seymour. 
However,  he  soon  seemed  to  weary  of  her  affectation,  and  vapid 
conversation,  and,  to  Harriet's  great  delight,  strolled  off  by  him- 
self without  asking  an  introduction  to  any  one  else. 

Now  the  truth  of  the  matter  was  this :  Harrison  Gould,  Esq. 
— so  his  letters  were  addressed  —  was  a  widower  of  some  years' 
standing,  and  in  comfortable  circumstances.  He  had  been  a 
lawyer  in  the  county  town  where  he  resided,  but  being  naturally 
inclined  to  ease,  had  given  up  his  practice  and  turned  his  atten- 
tion to  amateur  farming.  That  is;  he  read  scientific  and  agricul- 
tural books,  and  puzzled  his  head  man— Roberts — with  disqui- 
sitions on  "  soils  and  gases ; ' '  and  was  sure,  at  the  end  of  the 
year,  that  it  was  owing  to  his  researches  and  improved  farming 


utensils,  that  the  crops  turned  out  so  -well,  while  the  neighbours 
attributed  it  to  the  experience  and  active  supervision  of  Roberts. 
However,  to  let  this  pass  —  for  it  was  an  amiable  weakness  of  a 
very  good-natured  man  —  Mr.  Gould  had  at  length  grown  tired 
of  his  solitary  mansion.  He  thought  Mrs.  Roberts,  though  a 
very  good  housekeeper,  was  not  exactly  suited  to  direct  the  edu- 
cation of  his  two  motherless  daughters,  who  were  approaching  a 
hoydenish  age,  and  "  needed  looking  after."  In  fine,  one  bright 
December  morning,  he  came  to  the  desperate  resolution  of  marry- 
ing again.  As  he  passed  in  review  the  various  young  ladies  of 
his  acquaintance — he  could  not  think  of  a  widow,  not  he ! — there 
came  a  recollection  of  having  been  somewhat  struck  by  a  dashing 
woman  he  had  passed  a  day  or  two  with,  at  the  house  of  a  friend. 
She  was  no  school-girl,  it  is  true,  but  he  hated  your  chits  —  he 
wanted  a  companion  for  himself,  a  mother  for  his  children.  So 
he  further  resolved,  as  he  himself  termed  it,  "  to  look  her  up" — 
and  confer  upon  her  the  distinguished  honour  of  his  name,  should 
she  please  him,  upon  more  intimate  acquaintance. 

And  all  this  while  we  have  left  him  sauntering  about  the  fair ! 
No  —  he  had  grown  weary  of  that,  and  ensconced  himself  in  a 
convenient  niche  near  the  "post-office,"  where  he  could  watch 
the  carnival  before  him,  at  the  same  time  sheltered  in  a  measure 
from  observation  by  one  of  the  "banners"  we  have  before 
alluded  to. 

He  was  quite  comfortable  here,  and  soon  grew  to  distinguish 
individuals  among  the  crowd  that  now  thronged  the  room. 

He  saw  little  children  pause  wistfully  before  the  cake-table, 
and  compare  the  three  pennies  left  of  their  small  store,  with  the 
nice  tart  marked  sixpence.  How  the  longing  look  passed  away, 
and  returned  again  as  the  young  spendthrift  came  in  view  of  the 


gaily-dressed  dolls,  and  the  fancy  pin-cushions.  He  heard  the 
young  ladies  pressing  their  beaux  to  purchase  things  that  could 
be  of  no  manner  of  use,  and  were  besides  exorbitantly  dear,  with 
an  irresistible  look,  and  "  please  do,  for  /  made  it."  Ah,  there 
was  no  denying  then,  and  the  young  gentleman  emptied  his 
purse,  and  went  without  a  new  pair  of  boots  in  consequence.  He 
noticed  Mrs.  McCloud  floating  around  the  room,  overseeing,  plan- 
ning, and  admiring,  with  her  most  consequentially  patronizing 
air.  His  eyes  rested  for  a  long  time  on  the  calm,  peaceful  face 
of  Mrs.  Jackson,  its  pensive  beauty  heightened  by  the  plain 
mourning  dress  she  had  not  yet  laid  aside. 

And  then  he  could  not  help  overhearing  a  conversation  that 
was  going  on  in  the  little  tent  near  which  he  leaned,  of  course 
unobserved  by  its  inmates. 

"  Oh,  it's  better  than  any  farce,"  said  the  merry  voice  of  Mrs. 
Jorden,  "to  watch  the  Hardens  this  evening.  Mamma's  so 
delighted  at  the  prospect  of  Miss  Harriet's  having  an  offer  at 
last,  and  so  anxious  any  one  should  see  the  gentleman  she 
intends  for  the  honour  of  her  son-in-law,  and  should  understand 
that '  he  lives  on  the  interest  of  his  money ! ' ' 

"  So  he  has  really  been  caught !"  said  Miss  Barnard,  in  return. 
"  Poor  fellow  !  he 's  rather  good-looking." 

The  listener  could  have  boxed  her  ears  for  this  patronizing 

"  Yes,  and  seems  sensible  in  all  other  points.  I  wonder  he 
allowed  himself  to  be  l  hooked.'  If  Harriet  was  an  angel  in 
herself,  I  should  think  the  prospect  of  having  such  a  mother- 
in-law  to  manage  one's  family  affairs,  would  frighten  any 

"My  dear  Marie,"  interposed  another  voice,  evidently  her 


husband's,  "you  are  too  severe.  I  do  not  believe  you  have  yet 
forgiven  that  little  curiosity  of  theirs." 

"  Why  not  so  much  that,  Hal,  but  it  displayed  them  all  so 
perfectly.  First,  their  watching  you,  and  listening  to  a  gossiping 
seamstress;  then  that  visit  of  inspection  to  Mary.  No  lady 
would  ever  read  another  person's  letters." 

"Are  you  sure  that  Miss  Harden  did?" 

"  Why  of  course.  She  told  Adeline  Mitchell  so.  Did  n't  you 
know  they  have  never  spoken  since  the  morning  of  Mary's  wed- 
ding ?  I  have  thought  better  of  Adeline  ever  since.  I  looked 
over  at  her  to-night  on  Miss  Harden's  entrance,  and  was  delighted 
to  find  that,  though  it  was  evidently  expected  she  would  be  with- 
ered, confounded,  not  a  glance  or  a  movement  betrayed  the  least 
curiosity  or  chagrin.  I'm  inclined  to  think  she's  a  good  creature, 
after  all.  At  any  rate,  she  has  never  tried  to  force  herself  into 
any  set  of  acquaintances,  and  it  has  been  perfectly  annoying  to 
see  how  Harriet  Harden  has  toadied  to  Mrs.  McCloud  from  the 
moment  this  affair  commenced.  Such  an  opportunity  was  not 
to  be  lost  j  I  have  been  positively  angry  that  any  woman  should 
stoop  so  low." 

"Pshaw,  Marie,  one  sees  that  in  any  society.  Never  more 
fully  displayed  than  at  Washington.  I  should  have  thought  you 
had  become  accustomed  to  it  there." 

Mr.  Gould  had  heard  quite  enough  of  his  intended  relatives. 
He  had  never  liked  Mrs.  Harden  particularly,  and  he  could  not 
help  noticing  her  fussy  omciousncss  in  pointing  him  out  to  any 
one  near  her,  when  he  emerged  from  his  concealment.  No  man 
likes  to  feel  himself  baited  for ;  though  perhaps  willing  enough 
to  be  caught  where  he  does  not  see  the  hook.  Mr.  Gould  began 
to  grow  nervous,  and  meditated  returning  to  Berkshire  the  next 


morning.  "While  absorbed  in  these  delightful  reflections,  he 
found  himself  standing  near  a  very  sensible,  quiet-looking  person, 
apparently  about  Miss  Harden's  age,  who  was  in  attendance  at 
the  much  undervalued  "kitchen  table."  It  might  have  been 
suggested  by  her  surroundings,  but  somehow,  as  he  watched  her 
dispose  of  towels  and  holders,  give  "change"  to  purchasers  from 
the  pocket  of  her  pretty  silk  apron,  (Mr.  Gould  had  a  particular 
penchant  for  a  little  black  silk  apron,  it  always  seemed  so  home- 
like,) he  began  to  wonder  if  she  was  engaged,  or  if  she  were  a 
wife  already. 

Contrary  to  his  first  intention,  he  turned  once  more  to  Miss 
Harden,  who  welcomed  the  truant  with  a  "smile  of  sweet 
chiding,"  which  was  quickly  changed  to  a  contemptuous  curl 
of  the  lip,  as  he  asked  the  name  of  the  lady  he  had  just  been 

"  I  have  n't  the  honour  of  her  acquaintance,"  was  her  some- 
what ungentle  reply  —  and  Mr.  Gould  began  to  wonder  how  he 
had  ever  thought  Miss  Harden  agreeable.  "  I  'm  not  the  first 
man  of  my  years  that's  gone  on  a  fool's  errand,"  was  his  con- 
solatory reflection;  but  he  twirled  his  watch-chain  uneasily, 
for  all  that. 

Later  in  the  evening  he  found  himself  once  more  by  the 
plain  young  lady,  and,  by  way  of  introduction,  began  asking 
the  price  of  her  wares.  She  smiled;  he  found  she  had  good 
teeth;  —  if  there  was  any  thing  he  noticed  first,  it  was  good 
teeth  —  his  own  were  remarkable  for  regularity  and  brilliancy. 
She  had  a  pleasant  voice  —  Mr.  Gould  agreed  with  Shakspcaro, 
that  it  was  "an  excellent  thing  in  woman."  She  conversed 
sensibly,  and  was  witty  without  being  sarcastic,  and  as  he  was 
regretting  politeness  would  not  allow  a  longer  chit-chat,  Mrs. 


McCloud  happened  to  come  up,  and  said,  "Mr.  Gould,  Miss 
Mitchell,"  in  her  most  gracious  and  affable  manner. 

It  was  not  accident  that  brought  Mrs.  McCloud  up  there  just 
at  that  moment.  She  had  wondered  what  they  were  talking 
about,  and  besides,  the  good-natured  lady  knew  that  she  could 
not  more  effectually  annoy  Miss  Harden  than  by  the  said  intro- 
duction. Some  people  take  such  pains  to  be  of  service  to  their 
friends ! 

Mr.  Gould  started.  He  understood  Miss  Harden's  negative 
now — at  least,  he  thought  he  did — and  Adeline,  though  she  had 
altered  very  much  for  the  better  since  her  intimacy  with  Harriet 
had  ceased,  and  was  now  really  what  she  seemed  to  be,  a  sensible, 
good-natured  girl,  could  not  but  feel  a  little  pleasure  in  the  turn 
affairs  had  taken.  Don't  blame  her,  ladies — you  would  have  felt 
just  the  same,  only,  ten  to  one,  you  would  have  shown  it  more 

Mr.  Gould  walked  home  with  Harriet  Harden  that  evening, 
of  course ;  it  was  his  duty  to  do  so ;  he  had  escorted  her  there ; 
and  he  was  very  civil,  very  polite ;  in  fact,  so  much  so,  that  Har- 
riet answered  her  mother's  anxious  inquiries,  with  the  information 
that  she  thought  he  'd  propose  before  the  week  was  out,  and  then 
retired  to  dream  of  a  delightful  residence  in  Berkshire.  The 
dream  was,  however,  preluded  by  a  speculation  as  to  the  material 
of  her  wedding-dress,  and  the  number  of  pounds  of  fruit-cake 
that  would  be  requisite.  "There's  one  thing" — was  her  last 
sleepy  reflection — "  Adeline  Mitchell  shall  die  with  envy.  The 
creature!  to  flirt  with  him  as  she  did  to-night.  However,  he 
saw  through  it  all" — and  her  maiden  meditations  ended.  But 
strange  to  relate,  Mr.  Gould  did  not  call  the  next  day.  Stranger 
still,  he  walked  home  with  Adeline  Mitchell  in  the  evening ;  they 


went  down  before  the  Hardens,  on  the  other  side  of  Main  Street. 
Several  remarked  it.  But  the  ensuing  morning  he  called  very 
early,  and  proposed  a  walk  before  the  hour  she  should  be  on 
duty,  and  then  he  was  particularly  attentive  to  her  all  the  eve- 

The  fair  lasted  four  days,  evenings  inclusive.  It  was  wonder- 
fully successful,  every  one  said.  But  we  must  follow  other  for- 
tunes, and  cannot  pause  to  tell  of  the  silver  that  was  missing — 
the  table-linen  ruined — the  disputes  that  arose — the  innumerable 
cold  dinners  that  were  eaten  in  Rivertown  during  the  whole  of 
that  eventful  week ;  or  how  a  general  amnesty  ensued,  and  the 
Orphan  Asylum  flourished,  and  flourishes  still,  to  the  great  credit 
of  the  energetic  ladies  who  planned  and  supported  it ;  and  the 
kind  matron  whose  heart  is  bound  up  in  her  little  charges,  and 
who  spends  health  and  strength  for  their  comfort  and  well-being, 
without  a  murmur.  God  reward  her,  say  we ! 

We  can  only  mention,  as  we  close  this  chapter,  that  Mr.  Gould 
left  Rivertown  after  a  fortnight's  visit,  leaving  Miss  Harden  in 
a  delightful  state  of  uncertainty  with  regard  to  his  intentions. 
Though  "  she  was  sure,  from  what  he  said — he  would  write  di- 
rectly. There  was  one  consolation;  he  seemed  to  have  found 
out  that  artful  Adeline  Mitchell,  long  before  he  left." 






4  At  last  a  story  got  afloat  — 
And  like  a  wild-fire  flew, 
That  Polly  Peep  knew  —  certainly! 
Exactly  what  she  knew  ! 

'They  came  to  think,  that,  after  all, 

'Twas  not  so  great  a  catch, 
And  rather  pitied  her,  because 
She'd  made  so  bad  a  match." 


more,  and  for  the  last  time,  we  chronicle  a 

spring  in  Rivertown. 

If  you  had  not  felt  the  balmy  south  wind,  or 

looked  up  at  the  deep,  deep  blue  sky,  you  could 
have  told  from  the  appearance  of  nearly  every  household  that  it 
was  near  the  first  of  May.  Among  other  uncomfortable  fashions 
the  Rivertonians  had  introduced  from  New  York,  that  of  a  general 
moving  on  one  day  in  the  year,  was  widely  patronized.  Many 
seemed  to  have  what  the  French  call  un  grand  talent  for  migra- 
tion, and  one  lady  was  so  noted  for  this,  that  her  friends  were 
accustomed  to  ask,  where  she  was  living  now,  whenever  they 
spoke  of  visiting  her  ;  as  we  say  of  some  young  ladies  not  remark- 
able for  constancy  —  "  who  are  they  engaged  to  at  present  ?  " 

All  who  remained  stationary,  celebrated  the  commencement  of 
May  by  a  grand  house-cleaning  festival  —  the  ladies  looking  like 
so  many  laundresses,  the  gentlemen  being  martyr-like  in  their 
endurance  of  an  evil  they  could  not  avert,  and  the  whole  house 


remaining  no  unapt  representation  of  "chaos,"  for  the  time 
being.  Mi's.  Harden  was  the  chief  priestess  of  the  celebration 
of  these  household  mysteries.  She  always  commenced  "  clean- 
ing," at  least  a  week  before  any  one  else,  and  prided  herself  on 
paint  that  was  as  free  from  soil  as  her  own  good  name ;  brasses 
that  dazzled  the  eye  with  their  brilliancy ;  and  white-washing  as 
"smooth  and  even"  as  if  it  had  been  done  by  a  coloured  pro- 
fessor of  the  art. 

So  May  had  come,  and  Mrs.  Harden  was  in  her  element.  The 
morning  set  apart  for  the  above-mentioned  process  of  white-wash- 
ing had  arrived.  Harriet,  who  hated  anything  like  work,  took 
an  early  departure,  intending  to  make  the  tour  of  the  shops,  call 
at  the  dress-maker's,  and  finish  the  day  sociably  with  her  friend 
Mrs.  Smith. 

Mrs.  Harden's  face  brightened,  as  she  watched  the  steaming 
of  the  lime-kettle  before  her.  The  parlour  furniture  was  all 
carefully  covered  with  quilts  and  counterpanes,  and  herself  equally 
disguised  in  a  faded  calico  loose-dress,  (the  uniform  on  such  occa- 
sions,) her  night-cap  pressed  into  service,  and  tied  closely  by  an 
equally  faded  ribbon ;  her  dress  sleeves  were  tucked  up  to  the 
elbows,  and  about  an  hour  after  her  daughter's  departure,  with 
a  brush  tempered  by  clean  hot  water,  she  was  ready  to  commence. 
Other  people  might  trust  their  parlour  ceilings  to  a  woman — she, 
Mrs.  Harden,  never  would ;  she  was  not  going  to  have  the  paper 
ruined,  and  the  colour  taken  out  of  the  paint  with  splashes  !  So, 
mounted  upon  the  kitchen  ironing-table,  the  first  long  dash  was 
made,  the  operator  dexterously  closing  both  eyes,  to  avoid  falling 
drops,  and  "ducking"  her  head  for  the  same  purpose. 

Alas,  that  a  scene  of  such  calm  and  quiet  domestic  happiness 
should  be  rudely  disturbed  !  There  was  a  violent  "  slamming ' ' 


of  the  front  door,  a  hurried  rush  through  the  hall,  and  Harriet 
appeared  before  her  mother  in  such  a  picture  of  angry  despair, 
that  Mrs.  Harden,  for  once,  lost  presence  of  mind  and  dropped 
the  handle  of  the  brush  into  the  lime-kettle,  as  she  threw  up  both 
hands  in  astonishment. 

"  My  goodness !  child,  what  is  the  matter  ?  " — and  Mrs.  Har- 
den "  abandoned  her  position  "  with  a  jump  that  made  the  whole 
room  shake. 

"  I  wish  I  was  dead — I  wish  I  never  had  seen — I  wish  you 
wouldn't  stare  at  me  so,  ma ! " 

"  Do  you  know  what  you  're  talking  about,  Harriet !  What 
has  happened?" 

"  Adeline  Mitchell — Mrs.  Smith — Adeline's  going  to  be  mar- 
ried ! "  gasped  the  young  lady,  showing  evident  hysterical  symp- 
toms, such  as  flinging  her  arms  about  wildly,  and  panting,  as  her 
eyes  rolled  with  a  ghastly  expression. 

"  Well,  I  am  beat — oh,  mercy !  there  goes  your  best  bonnet 
right  into  the  white-wash ! " 

"  I  don't  care — I  don't  care,"  murmured  the  sufferer.  "  Let 
me  alone — I  don't  care  if  I  never  wear  it  again — I  '11  never  go 
out  of  the  house " 

"  Don't  act  like  an  extravagant  fool,"  was  the  maternal  response. 
Mrs.  Harden  could  not  appreciate  her  daughter's  present  aban- 
donment. To  be  sure,  it  was  enough  to  provoke  a  saint,  to  have 
Adeline  Mitchell  married  first.  Two  years  younger  at  the  least 
calculation — not  a  bit  genteel ! 

"  Who  is  it  to  ?  "  she  continued.  "  Some  greenhorn  or  other, 
I'll  be  bound." 

But  the  inquiry  produced  a  fresh  convulsion,  and  some  time 
elapsed  before  Mrs.  Harden  gathered  that — could  she  believe  her 


senses?  —  that  Adeline  Mitchell  would  actually  become  Mrs. 
Gould ! 

"The  mean  thing !"  said  Miss  Harriet. 

"  That  flirt  of  a  fellow — after  being  so  desperate  attentive  to 
you,  too ! "  responded  her  sympathizing  mamma. 

"  Came  here  on  purpose  to  see  me — I  know  ho  did — and  then 
to  take  up  with  her ! " 

"  He  ought  to  be  sued  for  breach  of — of — "  here  Mrs.  Harden 
fortunately  recollected  herself,  and  added  "peace" — in  the  most 
quiet  tone  imaginable. 

"  Men  are  all  alike,"  was  her  next  ejaculation. 

"  As  far  as  I  'm  concerned — "  Harriet  had  intended  to  say  it 
did  not  make  the  least  difference  to  her  who  Mr.  Gould  married, 
but  she  was  not  quite  equal  to  so  much  resignation  as  yet,  and  left 
the  sentence  unfinished,  apparently  to  comment  on  her  mother's 
previous  remark. 

At  length  the  storm  in  a  measure  subsided.  The  Kivertown 
Ariadne  had  been  calmed  by  "  a  good  cry/'  and  began  to  narrate 
particulars ;  Mrs.  Harden  forgot  the  hardening  lime,  and  sat  down 
in  a  rocking-chair  to  listen. 

"  Instead  of  going  to  Van  Dusen's,  I  thought  I  'd  stop  into 
Miss  Van  Brooch's  to  see  how  much  fringe  I  wanted  for  that 
dress,  and  as  I  came  in,  I  noticed  her  hustle  away  the  work  she 
was  at  into  a  drawer  that  was  open  by  her.  But  one  sleeve  fell 
on  the  floor,  and  as  I  picked  it  up,  I  saw  it  was  the  richest  silk  I 
ever  laid  my  eyes  on. 

"  <  That 's  for  Mrs.  McCloud,  I  suppose/  said  I— I  didn't  ex- 
pect any  one  else  could  afford  it. 

"'No  it  ain't  for  Mrs.  McCloud/  said  she;  'I  never  made  up 
half  so  handsome  a  piece  of  silk  for  her;  and  here's  another  for 


the  same  person ' — it  was  an  elegant  embroidered  stone-coloured 
merino,  just  like  Mrs.  Jorden's.  <  And  that  ain't  the  wedding- 
dress  either/  she  went  on;  'nor  the  wedding-dress  ain't  all;  I 
never  saw  such  an  elegant  fit-out  in  my  life/  said  she,  and  so  she 
went  on.  ^  I  knew  it  was  useless  to  try  and  get  it  out  of  her  who 
it  was  for — she  always  was  so  awful  close — though  I  teased,  and 
promised  to  be  as  still  as  death  about  it.  I  was  just  giving  up 
in  despair,  when  what  should  I  see  but  a  handkerchief  wrapped 
around  the  merino,  which,  though  there  was  no  name  on  it,  I 
knew  it  in  a  minute ;  it  was  one  of  that  first  set  Adeline  and  I 
hemstitched,  three  years  ago ;  I  could  swear  to  it  anywhere ;  she 
stained  it  terribly  the  first  time  she  used  it,  and  there  was  the 
mark  of  it  yet.  I  felt  as  if  I  should  have  dropped,  but  I  didn't 
say  one  word.  Before  you  knew  it,  I  rushed  into  Mrs.  Smith's ; 
I  thought  I  should  hear  some  news,  but  she  right  out  with  it  in 
a  minute.  It  was  she  that  told  me  it  was  Mr.  Grould.  I  '11  tell 
you  how  she  found  it  out.  Her  John  has  been  helping  in  the 
Post-office  for  a  while  back,  and  he  says  letters  came  twice  a  week 
regularly  to  Adeline  Mitchell.  They're  post-marked  ' Union 
Four-Corners,  Berkshire  Co.'  She  was  coming  over  here  this 
afternoon  to  tell  us,  the  spiteful  thing !  Pretending  it  was  too 
bad  —  she  felt  so  sorry  for  my  disappointment,  she  said,  (who 
asked  her  to,  I  'd  like  to  know  ?)  and  so  did  Mrs.  Folger.  She 
came  in.  She  says  they  're  going  to  be  married  soon,  for  two 
boxes,  that  must  have  had  wedding-cake  in  them,  came  up  in  the 
boat  last  night,  directed  to  the  Mitchells,  and  they  've  cleaned 
house  a  month  before  they  usually  do." 

"  Yes,  that  they  have,"  said  Mrs.  Harden,  "  if  they  're  through 
aready — I  thought  I  was  ahead  in  that  particular." 

Miss  Harriet  was  here  overcome  by  the  recollection  of  all  she 


had  lost,  and  Mrs.  Harden  glanced  disconsolately  around  the 
forlorn  apartment. 

Ah;  it  was  too  true !  —  and  here,  where  we  first  made  the  ac- 
quaintance of  our  Rivertown  friends,  we  must  bid  them  adieu. 
A  change  had  come  over  the  then  cheerful  room,  and  a  deeper 
shade  over  its  inmates.  It  would  have  been  adding  to  grief,  if 
any  one  had  held  up  a  mirror  of  the  intervening  time,  and  shown 
the  disconsolate  maiden,  that,  if  she  had  not  interfered  in 
the  fortunes  of  others,  her  own  would  have  been  unmarred. 
How  curiously  the  chain  of  circumstances  had  been  linked,  that 
now  bound  down  all  her  hopes  for  the  future !  Hope  would  have 
been  unavailing  —  for  not  even  the  expectation  of  an  ofier  ever 
again  crossed  her  path. 

Mrs.  Folger  was  right  in  her  predictions.  Adeline  was  mar- 
ried soon,  within  that  very  week,  but  so  privately,  that  no  one 
discovered  it  until  the  carriages  containing  the  bridal  party  stopped 
at  the  railway  depot.  Mr.  Gould's  arrival  the  day  before  had 
escaped  notice,  and  most  of  the  gossips  were  electrified  by  the  news. 

"  "What  will  Harriet  Harden  say  ?  "  asked  Mrs.  Jorden  of  her 
sister,  as  they  saw  the  carriages  drive  from  the  door. 

"  That  is  the  best  of  the  whole  thing.  If  you  could  only  have 
seen  the  air  with  which  she  told  me  this  morning,  '  that  those 
who  couldn't  get  what  they  liked,  must  take  up  with  what  they 
could  find/  as  poor  Mr.  Gould  had  done ;  as  if  any  one  woulu 
ever  be  made  to  believe  that  Harriet  Harden  had  refused  any 
man  !  Moreover,  she  informed  me,  that  Mr.  Gould  was  not  half 
so  wealthy  as  people  supposed,  he  had  lost  so  much  in  the  Mar- 
bio  Stock  Company,  and  she  guessed  Adeline  Mitchell  would 
find  her  hands  full  with  those  romping  girls  to  manage.  How 
could  any  woman  ever  dream  of  being  a  step-mother !" 


"It  was  a  mystery/'  Mrs.  Jorden  confessed;  and  then  all 
three  laughed  heartily.  We  say  all  three,  for  our  old  friend 
Mary  Butler  had  arrived  the  day  before,  and  they  were  passing 
a  delightful  morning  together,  in  talking  ovef  old  times.  The 
gentlemen  had  gone  out — Mary's  little  one  was  asleep ;  so  there 
was  nothing  to  disturb  them,  except  when  Mary  now  and  then 
stole  into  the  next  room  to  bend  over  "  the  baby,"  with  all  a 
young  mother's  tender  watchfulness  for  her  first-born. 

And  so — partings  seem  the  order  of  the  day — we  will  leave 
them  also ; — the  younger  ladies  surrounded  by  all  that  ministers 
to  earthly  happiness,  and  the  widow,  finding  in  the  conscientious 
fulfilment  of  daily  duty,  "that  peace  which  the  world  cannot 
give."  Her  child  was  daily  growing  more  like  her  lost  one,  and 
he  filled  the  void  in  affections  that  else  might  have  craved  another 
object  to  love  and  to  trust. 

Mrs.  Gould  is  quoted  as  a  pattern  step-mother,  and  has  become 
the  pride  of  her  husband  and  his  household ;  good  Mrs.  Eoberts 
wondering  "  how  they  ever  managed  without  her."  It  is  strange 
how  some  natures  expand  and  improve  in  the  atmosphere  of  a 
congenial  home.  The  matronly  Mrs.  Gould  would  hardly  be  re- 
cognized as  the  discontented  and  somewhat  scandal-loving  Miss 
Mitchell  of  our  first  acquaintance. 

Her  first  visit  to  her  old  home  caused  some  little  excitement 
recently  in  Kivertown,  where  all  things  go  on  as  usual.  There 
have  been  two  weddings  there  the  past  winter,  but  John  Harden 
declares  it  is  n't  half  so  lively  as  when  Harriet  and  Mrs.  Smith 
had  Adeline  to  help  them  set  the  neighbourhood  by  the 

Mrs.  Harden  and  Mrs.  Folger  are  not  of  much  use  to  them 
either,  at  present ;  the  one  lady  being  deeply  interested  in  the 


spread  of  Homoeopathic  principles,  and  the  other  having  become 
so  interested  in  California  news,  that  all  other  seems  insipid. 

"  Even  as  some  sick  men  will  take  no  medicine,  unless  some 
pleasant  thing  be  put  amongst  their  potions,  although  it  be  some- 
what hurtful,  yet  the  physician  suflereth  them  to  have  it: 
so,  because  many  will  not  hearken  to  serious  and  grave  docu- 
ments, unless  they  be  mingled  with  some  fable  or  jest,  therefore 
reason  willeth  us  to  do  the  like"  —  says  that  quaint  old  writer, 
Sir  Thomas  More.  And  this  has  been  the  argument  of  the  ap- 
parently trifling  sketches  through  which  your  patience,  dear  ladies, 
has  accompanied  us. 

The  little  time  that  we  have  mingled  in  society,  has  taught  us 
that  "  gossip"  is  the  root  of  its  deepest  evil.  Trifles  are  misre- 
presented and  magnified;  a  whisper  of  suspicion  becomes  the 
death-warrant  of  family  peace,  and  the  stain  on  a  spotless  cha- 
racter. And  though  we  are  well  aware  that 

"  More  offend  from  want  of  thought, 
Than  from  any  want  of  feeling — " 

we  have  seen  the  bitterest  suffering  ensue — perhaps  there  is  none 
more  intense  known  to  a  woman's  heart.  If  these  pages  shall 
have  aided  to  place  this  more  fully  before  any,  and  lead  them  to 
cherish  that  "  charity  which  thinketh  no  evil/'  then  is  their  au- 
thor's purpose  already  accomplished. 






" '  The  picture  is  too  calm  for  me, 
Too  calm  for  me,'  she  said." 


OULD  it  be  possible  that  it  was  three  weeks  since 
my  marriage  ?  We  were  at  the  end  of  our  jour- 
ney, yet  I  wished  it  were  just  commenced.  The 
carriage  rattled  over  the  rough  pavements,  —  the 
street-lamps  flashed  brilliantly  through  the  darkness;  and  the 
noisy  murmur  that  rose  upon  the  evening  air,  so  unlike  the  quiet 
of  my  mountain  home,  told  me  that  I  was  in  the  heart  of  the 
city,  near  to  the  mansion  in  which  I  was  to  pass  so  much  of  the 
future.  No  wonder  my  heart  beat  fast,  as  the  roll  of  wheels  was 
hushed,  and  that  I  gazed  eagerly  through  the  night  to  catch  the 
first  glimpse  of  my  destined  dwelling-place.  I  could  see  that  the 
house  was  large,  and  I  thought  there  was  a  gloomy  air  about  it; 
but  this  might  have  been  caused  by  the  swaying  of  the  leafless 
trees,  as  they  moaned  in  the  autumn  wind ;  or  perhaps  the  huge 
wreath  of  ivy,  that  hung  heavily  from  the  dark  wall.  Then  I 
14*  (161) 


turned  from  the  window,  for  a  dear  voice  whispered,  "This 
is  our  home, — your  home,  my  bird ;  think  you  it  will  be  a  happy 

How  could  I  doubt  it,  when  eyes  beaming  with  deep  affection 
questioned^me  ? — My  own  gave  reply ;  my  heart  was  too  full  for 

A  strong  arm  bore  me  from  the  carriage,  and  shrinking  from 
the  chill  blast,  I  did  not  look  up  until  we  stood  in  the  warmly 
lighted  hall.  The  servants  had  gathered  there  to  see  their  new 
mistress,  with  the  housekeeper  at  their  head.  I  knew  she  would 
be  kind  to  me,  the  moment  my  eyes  looked  upon  her  motherly 
face — it  was  so  placid  and  gentle ;  but  when  she  came  to  greet 
me,  I  was  timid  as  a  child,  and  clung  to  my  husband's  arm,  as 
he  gracefully  received  her  congratulations,  offered  in  the  name 
of  the  household. 

"  Let  Margaret  take  your  wraps,"  said  he,  as  we  entered  the 
parlours.  "  You  must  rest  a  little  before  tea,  and  then  we  '11 
explore  the  house  together."  I  yielded  a  ready  assent, — for 
I  was  fatigued  with  the  long  day's  ride, — and  sank  into  the  lux- 
urious seat,  which  he  had  drawn  near  to  the  cheerful  grate,  ar- 
ranging the  cushions  with  his  own  hand.  Margaret  was  very  kind 
and  attentive;  she  looked  almost  with  affection  upon  Herbert, 
anticipating  his  slightest  wish,  and  promoting  his  comfort  in  many 
ways,  which,  young  and  thoughtless  as  I  was,  I  should  never 
have  noticed.  Then  as  I  marked  the  mildness  and  deference  with 
which  he  replied  to  her  lightest  question,  I  loved  him  all  the 
more ;  for  my  own  haughty  spirit  was  rebuked,  and  almost  un- 
consciously his  gentle  manner  became  my  own. 

It  was,  a  happy  hour  —  perchance  the  happiest  in  my  life 
— when  I  went  from  room  to  room,  leaning  upon  his  arm, 

THE    PORTRAIT.  163 

and  listening,  as  he  pointed  out  the  many  little  comforts 
and  elegancies  which  had  been  arranged  for  me ;  trifles  which 
I  had  not  thought  man  ever  noticed,  yet  on  which  home 
enjoyment  in  so  great  a  measure  depends.  Nothing  had  been 
forgotten, — he  was  so  thoughtful, — so  considerate.  "We  lingered 
at  length,  in  a  little  apartment  opening  from  the  drawing-room, 
which  had  pleased  me  more  than  any  other.  It  was  fitted  up  as 
a  library,  and  the  recesses  were  lined  with  quaintly-carved  book- 
shelves, of  some  dark,  highly-polished  wood.  On  one  —  appa- 
rently a  recent  addition  —  I  found  all  my  favourite  authors,  — 
those  we  had  read  and  studied  together,  when  I  first  learned  how 
noble  was  the  intellect  that  had  bowed  to  bestow  thought  and 
affection  upon  me.  Low;  cushioned  chairs,  and  luxurious  lounges 
were  scattered  about,  and  the  heavy  crimson  curtains  that  ex- 
cluded the  cold,  gave  a  warmth  and  "  coziness"  to  the  apartment, 
that  made  me  feel,  for  the  first  time,  as  if  at  home.  More  than 
all,  a  piano,  exactly  like  the  one  that  had  been  my  own,  stood 
smiling  a  welcome  from  its  ivory  keys,  and  the  songs  I  had  first 
sung  for  him  were  lying  beside  it.  I  could  almost  have  cried 
with  joy,  it  was  so  like  a  dear  familiar  face;  and  when  my  hus- 
band drew  me  more  closely  to  his  side,  and  told  me  his  hope  that 
I  would  not  pine  in  my  new  home,  I  felt  it  was  indeed  mine,  and 
that  his  love  and  care  would  make  it  a  Paradise.  Father,  — 
mother, — sisters, — they  were  all  dear,  I  had  been  their  idol ;  but 
as  my  hand  trembled  within  Herbert's,  I  felt  that  I  should  be 
amply  repaid  for  all  I  had  given  up  for  him. 

Very  beautiful  were  the  dear  eyes  that  sought  an  answer  in 
my  own ;  the  forehead  was  as  pure  as  the  noble  intellect  which 
it  enshrined ;  the  mouth,  delicate  as  a  woman's,  yet  fine  in  its  out- 
line, told  of  the  combined  strength  and  sweetness  that  so  sin- 


gularly  marked  his  character.  A  reverence  had  even  mingled 
with  my  deep  love,  for  the  first  flush  of  youth  had  passed  from 
his  brow,  subduing  the  once  brilliant  complexion  to  a  delicacy 
more  in  accordance  with  the  thoughtful  expression  which  he  ever 
wore,  save  when  he  listened  and  replied  to  me.  There  were 
many  years'  difference  in  our  ages,  but  I  wondered  when  I  heard 
it  almost  sneeringly  remarked  the  morning  of  our  bridal.  Could 
those  who  jested  at  that  holy  hour,  have  looked  into  my  heart, 
they  could  have  seen  that  this  added  to  my  devotion ;  for  time 
had  but  given  dignity  to  his  carriage,  and  strength  to  his  charac- 
ter. Young  and  untried  as  I  was,  I  felt,  as  I  then  gave  my  future 
happiness  to  his  keeping,  that  I  could  not  have  trusted  him  so 
fully,  had  he  not  already  passed  the  ordeal  of  rash  impetuous 

I  could  but  wonder  that  one  so  gifted,  so  honoured,  loved  an 
ignorant  child  such  as  I.  Well  has  it  been  said  "  true  love 
maketh  the  heart  humble."  But  when  I  saw  that,  strange  as  it 
seemed,  it  was  indeed  so, — his  affection  was  warm  and  sincere, 
I  could  say,  in  the  words  of  Zelucoth,  "  In  loving  I  have  not 
found  thee  much  older  or  wiser  than  myself,  and  I  should  not 
quarrel  with  these  few  gray  hairs,  did  they  not  remind  me  how 
many  years  of  that  love  I  have  lost."  There  were  no  threads  of  silver 
mingling  with  the  light  curls  that  lay  upon  Herbert's  temples ; 
but  they  were  thinned  by  deep  thought,  ay,  and  by  illness.  But 
for  this,  you  would  not  have  dreamed  that  life's  meridian  was 
already  attained.  Yet  knowing  his  gentleness  and  forbearance, 
there  were  those  who  prophesied  that  our  marriage  would  bring 
unhappiness  instead  of  joy  to  us  both.  Not  that  he  was  older  than 
myself — that  was  well,  they  said — I  should  have  a  guide  and  pro- 
tector in  him;  but  they  croakingly  whispered  that  I  was  a  second 


wife;  the  shadow  of  the  first  could  rest  upon  our  household.  I  had 
known  ere  we  met,  that  "  the  friend  of  his  youth  was  dead"  — 
that  years  had  passed  since  he  laid  her  in  the  grave,  with  her 
babe  upon  her  bosom ;  and  after  I  had  learned  to  watch  for  his 
footsteps  hoping  that  he  sometimes  thought  of  mB,  I  listened  to 
the  sad  story  from  his  own  lips.  There  was  not  a  thought  of 
jealousy  in  my  soul.  He  had  been  perfectly  candid  and  truth- 
ful ;  I  had  required  this ;  and  when  he  spoke  of  her  beauty  and 
loveliness  of  character,  I  could  not  have  trusted  him,  had  he  not 
shown  a  devotion  to  the  memory  of  one  so  worthy.  I  prayed 
silently  that  I  might  be  fitted  to  fill  her  place,  —  and  felt  that  I 
should  be  satisfied  with  a  remnant  of  the  affection  so  long  since 
given  to  her. 

Not  long  before  our  marriage,  we  had  been  speaking  of  her 
wonderful  beauty.  "  Have  you  a  portrait,  or  miniature  ?  "  said  I. 

"  There  was  one  suspended  by  my  own  a  few  months  before 
her  death ;  it  is  still  in  the  library,  and  shall  be  undisturbed  if 
you  choose  so :  we  will  look  at  it  together  some  day."  From  that 
time  it  was  constantly  in  my  thoughts. 

My  friends  smiled  at  what  they  called  my  infatuation  when  I 
spoke  enthusiastically  of  his  first  wife,  and  how  devoted  Herbert 
had  been  to  her. 

"A  strange  subject  with  which  to  entertain  a  young  bride," 
said  they ;  but  I  cared  not,  for  I  knew  he  loved  me  better  that  I 
was  childishly  petulant  as  others  might  have  been.  It  was  a 
pleasure  for  him  to  speak  freely  of  the  departed,  and  as  I  have 
said  before,  I  thought  I  should  be  content  with  a  divided  reart. 

As  we  rested  in  that  pleasant  little  room,  the  portrait  came  to 
my  recollection,  and  I  glanced  around  hastily  in  search  of  it. 
The  heavy  frame  was  gleaming  from  the  shades  of  a  recess,  but 

166  THE    PORTRAIT. 

I  did  not  like  to  approach  it ;  there  seemed  an  intrusion  on  the 
enjoyment  of  the  hour.  An  undefined  sensation  of  discomfort 
crept  over  me ;  hut  it  passed  quickly,  and  I  was  once  more  happy, 
oh,  so  happy! 

When  Margaret  attended  me  to  my  own  room,  I  spoke  of  her 
former  mistress.  The  old  lady's  eyes  brightened  in  a  moment. 
"  Oh !  she  was  an  angel ! — so  good ! "  and  for  the  first  time  the 
praise  annoyed  me,  fell  jarringly  on  my  ear.  That  night  I  could 
not  speak.  It  may  have  heen  weariness,  or  the  novel  aspect  of 
the  room  which  prevented  me,  hut  whatever  the  cause  I  lay  for 
hours  restless  and  disturbed ;  thinking, — at  times,  half  dreaming, 
— and  again  broad  awake.  The  portrait !  how  it  lingered  in  my 
mind !  I  pictured  it  to  myself  in  every  possible  light,  and  at 
length  I  cautiously  arose,  and  throwing  on  a  wrapper  thrust  my 
feet  into  velvet  slippers,  and  left  the  room.  Like  a  guilty 
creature  I  stole  silently  down  the  stairs,  shading  the  lamp  lest  its 
faint  light  should  betray  me.  As  I  entered  the  library,  the  fire, 
which  was  not  yet  extinguished,  flashed  luridly  upon  the  object 
of  my  search,  and  revealed  it  suspended  by  the  image  of  my 
husband.  I  almost  held  my  breath  as  I  looked  eagerly  upward 
at  the  beautiful  vision. 

The  eyes,  large  and  lustrous,  were  fixed  upon  mine  as  if  they 
would  read  the  innermost  heart;  a  smile  lingered  about  the 
small  mouth,  and  an  almost  unearthly  serenity  and  purity  rested 
upon  the  forehead.  A  scarf  floated  over  the  head,  veiling,  yet 
not  concealing  clusters  of  luxuriant  curls, — and  though  it  was 
gathered  about  the  throat,  its  folds  revealed  the  gently  swelling 
bust.  It  was  the  perfection  of  womanly  beauty. 

Half  unconsciously  I  turned  to  the  mirror  to  mark  the  contract. 
A  slight  girlish  figure,  a  face  pale  with  restless  thought,  and  eyes 

THE    PORTRAIT.  167 

wan  and  sunken,  greeted  me.  My  hair  was  streaming  in  tangled 
masses  over  the  white  drapery  which  I  had  hastily  wrapped  about 
me,  and  the  loose  sleeves  had  fallen  back,  disclosing  an  arm  as 
yet  imperfect  in  its  outline.  "How  can  he  love  me  I"  was  my 
first  thought ;  "  he  must  constantly  compare  me  with  that  perfect 
face  and  form."  I  was  utterly  humiliated,  yet  I  did  not  blame 
him ;  for  when  I  crept  to  his  side  hours  after,  I  prayed,  while  my 
eyelids  at  length  closed  in  heavy  slumber,  that  forgetting  my 
youth  and  ignorance,  he  might  look  with  indulgence  upon  my 
follies,  and  love  me  with  only  half  the  affection  he  had  lavished 
upon  her. 

For  a  time,  the  novelty  of  everything, — the  constant  round  of 
gayety  consequent  upon  an  introduction  to  a  new  home  and  circle 
of  acquaintances,  drove  all  thoughts  save  love  for  Herbert  from 
my  mind.  But  at  length  visits  and  out-door  engagements  became 
less  frequent,  my  husband  devoted  himself  more  closely  to  pro- 
fessional duties,  and  I  had  my  leisure  hours  which  I  passed  in 
solitary  musings,  with  my  books  and  needle  for  companions. 
My  mornings  were  usually  passed  in  the  library,  and  often  I  have 
gazed  for  hours  on  those  portraits,  turning  from  one  to  the  other, 
and  marking  the  fitness  of  that  first  union.  But  other  feelings 
began  to  mingle  with  these  reveries.  The  slightest  accident  will 
often  arouse  thoughts  that  have  long  slumbered,  a  word  release 
flames  that  have  hitherto  glowed  in  the  darkness. 

I  was  sitting  one  morning  with  a  young  friend  who  had  been 
ushered  into  this  room  for  the  first  time.  She  praised  it  to  my 
heart's  content.  So  carefully  shaded,  so  prettily  furnished  !  the 
books,  the  music, — and,  stopping  before  the  pictures,  "  Why  did 
you  not  tell  me  that  your  portrait  was  here  ?  "  said  she,  then  sud- 
denly looking  grave  as  she  saw  her  mistake,  begged  pardon  for 


her  thoughtlessness,  and  added  "  she  did  not  expect  to  find  that 
picture  in  my  boudoir." 

I  did  not  like  the  peculiar  emphasis  with  which  she  spoke,  but 
though  the  blood  rushed  to  my  face,  quietly  replied  that  it  was 
my  wish  to  have  it  remain ;  and  then  tried  to  turn  the  conversa- 
tion. But  my  visitor  would  not  be  diverted.  "  That  can  hardly 
do  justice  to  Mrs.  Morton's  face,"  she  continued,  "  though  I  do 
not  recollect  her  distinctly.  Aunt  has  often  told  me  she  was  the 
most  beautiful  woman  in  the  city.  Grandpapa  was  very  fond  of 
her,  and  says,  when  she  sang,  it  seemed  the  voice  of  an  angel, 
and  he  could  imagine  nothing  more  like  Heaven  than  her  smile. 
I  should  be  jealous  if  I  were  in  your  place,  and  insist  on  having 
it  removed ;  but  you  are  a  strange  creature."  Some  one  else  being 
announced,  she  gaily  took  leave,  little  thinking  how  poisonous  an 
arrow  her  light  words  had  winged  to  my  heart. 

That  day  for  the  first  time  my  husband's  caresses  seemed  cold, 
and  his  words  of  affection  to  lack  that  tenderness  that  had  made 
them  as  music  to  my  ear.  In  the  evening  he  did  not  sit  with 
me  as  usual,  but  pleading  a  difficult  case  which  had  perplexed 
him  through  the  day,  and  required  much  study,  he  retired  to  the 
library,  leaving  me  alone.  I  cast  myself  upon  the  sofa,  and 
burying  my  face  in  my  hands,  gave  way  to  an  uncontrollable 
burst  of  tears,  calling  myself  the  most  unhappy  of  women,  think- 
ing the  time  which  I  so  dreaded  had  come, — that  my  husband  no 
longer  loved  me. 

My  passion  had  blinded  me.  I  did  not  mark  that  he  was  far 
paler  than  I  had  ever  known  him,  the  effect  of  many  days'  close 
confinement  in  a  crowded  court-room,  listening  to  one  of  the  most- 
important  cases  that  had  ever  been  argued  before  him.  I  did 
not  reflect,  that  since  the  day  of  my  leaving  home,  he  had  been 
constantly  at  my  side ;  refusing  all  invitations  in  which  I  was  not 


included,  though  well  fitted  to  grace  the  festive  board.  He  had 
almost  estranged  his  friends  by  this  seclusion ;  yet  I  forgot  the 
past.  "  He  is  weary  of  his  new  plaything,"  I  murmured  bitterly. 
"  He  looks  on  me  as  a  child ;  he  does  not  deem  me  worthy  of 
confidence,  or  capable  of  sympathy  with  his  lofty  pursuits."  Yet 
I  knew  that  she  had  shared  every  thought;  she  had  aided  him 
to  gain  the  lofty  position  he  now  occupied,  by  her  advice  and 
encouragement.  Perhaps  he  was  even  then  seeking  inspiration 
before  her  image.  "  It  shall  not  be  —  he  must  love  me,  for  he 
has  vowed  to,"  and  as  this  thought  came  to  me,  I  sprang  hastily 
to  my  feet,  and  in  a  moment  was  standing  beside  him. 

Herbert  looked  up  in  surprise  from  the  manuscript  he  was 
reading.  "  Oh,  is  it  you,  Eveline  ?  I  thought  you  were  amusing 
yourself  in  your  own  room,  happy  to  be  rid  of  your  tiresome  hus- 
band for  once." 

He  rose  as  he  spoke,  and  putting  back  the  curls  from  my  fore- 
head, kissed  me  tenderly.  How  rebuked  I  felt  for  my  unjust 
suspicions!  My  eyes  fell  before  his  kind  enquiring  glance, 
although  I  had  come  resolved  to  upbraid  him ;  and  shrinking  from 
his  arm  —  for  I  felt  that  I  did  not  deserve  such  gentleness,  I 
muttered  something  about  a  book,  and  taking  the  first  that  I  saw, 
left  him  again  to  his  solitude.  An  hour  more  and  he  joined  me ; 
during  that  time  I  had  resolved  to  stifle  and  subdue  the  sinful 
thoughts  that  had  made  me  so  miserable,  and  met  him  with  a  joy 
I  tried  in  vain  to  conceal. 

How  frail  are  our  best  resolves !  how  unconquerable  an  unjust 
suspicion  when  once  rooted  in  the  mind !  Again  that  terrible 
feeling  returned,  and  gradually  became  stronger,  as  I  ceased  to 
struggle  against  it.  Its  influence  followed  me  everywhere.  In 
my  own  room,  I  remembered  the  former  occupant,  and  it  became 

170  THE    PORTRAIT. 


hateful  to  me ;  my  mirror  was  shunned,  for  beside  my  own  image 
I  could  ever  see  the  face  which  had  been  years  ago  daily  reflected 
there ;  I  despised  the  girlish  beauty  of  which  I  had  once  been  so 
proud,  as  I  thought  of  that  magnificent  form,  in  its  rich  develop- 
ment of  womanly  beauty.  Still  an  irresistible  influence  drew  me 
to  the  library.  I  sat  there  for  hours,  while  my  work  fell  forgotten 
at  my  feet,  studying  with  a  strange  earnestness,  every  lineament 
of  that  beautiful  face.  All  things  seemed  to  conspire  in  adding 
to  my  misery :  in  any  word  that  was  spoken  I  could  trace  some 
hidden  meaning.  The  very  servants  seemed  to  disdain  my  rule. 
I  had  requested  that  some  slight  alteration  should  be  made  in  the 
arrangement  of  the  drawing-room  furniture;  but  ere  it  could  be 
effected,  Margaret  came  in  haste  to  say,  "  Certainly  it  should  be 
done  if  I  wished ;  but  poor  Mrs.  Morton  had  ordered  it  to  be 
placed  as  it  now  was,  a  few  days  before  her  death ;  and  Mr.  Mor- 
ton had  never  allowed  it  to  be  moved.  Perhaps  he  does  not  care 
now,"  she  added,  as  I  thought  in  a  murmuring  tone — and  I  felt 
that  she  also  loved  the  first  wife  better  than  the  new. 

Days,  weeks,  passed  slowly.  I  became  discontented  and 
morose.  I  shrank  from  my  husband's  caresses,  and  when  he 
tenderly  asked  if  I  were  ill,  gave  no  reply.  How  could  I  tell 
him  the  vile  feeling  that  o'ermastered  every  other !  How  could 
I  return  his  kisses,  when  I  remembered  whose  lips  had  once  been 
as  fondly  pressed!  Yet,  strange  as  it  may  seem,  I  encouraged 
him  to  speak  of  her,  to  tell  a  thousand  little  things  that  circum- 
stances recalled.  Every  word  was  a  dagger,  yet  I  sought  tho 
wound ;  there  was  a  strange  pleasure  in  thus  inviting  the  torture. 
Herbert  marked  that  my  checks  flushed,  and  my  eyes  brightened 
as  I  listened ;  he  thought  it  admiration  for  the  noble  character 
thus  disclosed.  His  pure  mind  dreamed  not  that  /  was  jealous 
of  tiie  dead !  Yet  it  waa  even  so. 


I  noticed  one  evening  that  he  did  not  seem  as  cheerful  as 
usual,  and,  with  a  feeling  of  self-reproach,  asked  if  he  was  ill. 
"No,  not  ill,"  he  said,  "only  a  little  sad;  it  is  the  anniversary 
of  Amelia's  death."  I  withdrew  niy  hand  from  his  brow,  as  if  a 
serpent  had  suddenly  fastened  upon  it ;  but  in  a  moment  checked 
my  emotion,  and  when  he  proposed  going  to  the  library,  followed 
him  without  a  word.  Ho  paused  at  the  piano,  and  asked  me  to 
play  for  him,  saying  that  it  was  a  long  time  since  he  had  heard 
me  sing.  The  ballad  he  selected  had  been  arranged  by  her,  and 
I  doubted  not  that  he  had  often  listened  to  its  melody  from  her 
lips ;  yet,  though  I  touched  the  keys  mechanically,  there  was  no 
discord  of  voice  or  instrument  to  betray  me.  Herbert  thanked 
me  as  I  concluded,  but  he  was  lost  in  thought,  and  the  commen- 
dation seemed  given  from  habit,  rather  than  impulse. 

"  Did  you  ever  notice  the  peculiar1  beauty  of  Amelia's  mouth  ?" 
he  asked  at  length, — the  piano  was  directly  before  the  pictures, — 
"It  was  certainly  the  most  beautiful  mouth  that  I  ever  saw; 
and  that  hand,  could  any  thing  be  more  faultless  ?  But  no  copy 
could  equal  the  original." 

He  did  not  think  the  remark  unkind,  for,  as  I  have  said,  I  had 
ever  encouraged  him  to  speak  freely  of  her.  Perhaps  he  won- 
dered why  I  did  not  respond  as  usual ;  but  my  mood  was  most 
bitter.  Those  who  in  my  girlhood  flattered  me,  had  said  my 
mouth  was  by  far  the  most  beautiful  feature  of  my  face.  I  knew 
well  that  it  was  so.  Even  Herbert,  in  our  first  acquaintance, 
had  marked  the  haughty  curve  of  the  crimson  lips ;  and  the  first 
time  that  my  hand  ever  rested  in  his  own,  he  spoke  of  its  deli- 
cacy, and  laughingly  said  the  slender  fingers  were  far  too  aristo- 
cratic for  an  American  maiden.  Yet  now  her  mouth  was  perfect ; 
her  hand  incomparable. 

I  endured  that  night,  agony  such  as  I  had  never  before 


imagined.  I  watched  Herbert's  features,  as  their  outline  was  re- 
vealed in  the  calm  moonlight,  and  my  heart  was  filled  with  a  wild 
love,  that  would  have  been  thought  madness,  by  natures  less  en- 
thusiastic than  my  own.  I  recalled  the  hour  when  first  we  met, 
the  thrill  of  deep  emotion  with  which  I  had  heard  his  first  loving 
word, — the  kiss  that  sealed  my  promise  to  be  his  wife, — the  long, 
long  days  of  happiness  that  followed,  when  we  rode,  sat,  or 
walked  together,  I,  as  if  in  a  dream  of  delight,  trying  to  compre- 
hend the  extent  of  the  treasure  which  had  been  so  suddenly  be- 
stowed upon  me.  But  now  all  was  changed.  I  was  beginning 
to  realize  that, — 

"  Man  full  speedily  forgets  the  idol  of  a  day." 

Such  was  the  fatal  blindness  which  enshrouded  me. 

My  husband  stirred  in  his  slumber,  and  a  pleasant  smile  stole 
over  his  face,  as  his  outstretched  hand  fell  heavily  upon  my  own. 
The  slight  pressure  increased  my  misery.  I  longed  to  waken 
him  with  a  kiss,  to  fold  my  arms  about  his  neck,  and  pray  him 
to  love  me  again ;  pleading,  oh  !  so  earnestly,  that  he  would  teach 
me  how  to  be  worthy  of  him. 

If  I  could  but  tell  him  all  —  all,  that  distressed  me !  But 
something  restrained  me,  even  as  my  mouth  bent  to  his, — prompted 
me  to  leave  his  side, — a  feeling  that  it  was  no  longer  my  place. 
Again  I  left  the  room  in  the  hush  of  midnight,  and  ere  I  was 
aware  whither  my  footsteps  tended,  stood  before  the  picture  which 
had  such  a  strange  power  to  embitter  my  existence. 

Oh !  the  mocking  smile  which  played  over  that  face !  It 
wreathed  the  pale  lips,  and  gleamed  from  those  glorious  eyes  1 
A  look  of  scorn  and  derision  which  said,  —  "I  am  avenged!" 
My  husband's  eyes  looked  down  coldly  and  reprovingly,  and  there 
as  I  turned  again  towards  Amelia,  I  saw  the  hand  which  grasped 


the  scarf,  slowly  extended  from  the  picture ;  it  pointed  in  mockery 
towards  me,  and  yet  I  could  not  turn  from  the  hated  sight.  I 
stood  as  if  turned  to  stone, — how  long,  I  knew  not.  I  remember 
that  the  moonlight  grew  misty  and  indistinct,  that  the  pictures 
swam  before  me,  while  a  thousand  voices  seemed  ringing  in  my 
ears.  Then  the  agony  which  I  endured  struggled  for  utterance 
in  a  low  deep  moan,  and  I  fell  senseless  upon  the  thick  carpet. 

I  was  roused  from  a  death-like  slumber  by  a  kiss  so  gentle, 
that  at  first  I  thought  it  the  touch  of  the  spring  breeze,  which 
wandered  through  the  room.  But  the  breeze  in  its  murmurings 
never  whispered  such  loving  words  as  those  which  fell  upon  my 
car,  when  I  languidly  unclosed  my  eyes,  and  looked  towards  the 
light.  Everything  was  strange,  yet  familiar ;  and  it  was  many 
moments  ere  I  could  recollect  how  or  where,  that  terrible  stupor 
had  fallen  upon  me.  This  was  my  own  room,  I  was  leaning  upon 
the  breast  of  my  husband,  and  when  I  wondered  that  morning 
had  come  so  quickly,  he  told  me  that  my  unconsciousness  had 
lasted  for  many  days. 

I  had  left  the  room  in  the  delirium  of  a  violent  fear;  the 
extended  hand  was  a  phantom  which  it  had  conjured  up.  Miss- 
ing me  from  his  side,  Herbert  was  startled  by  the  moan  and  heavy 
fall,  and  had  found  me  lying,  as  if  dead,  before  the  portrait. 
For  hours  they  were  unable  to  restore  suspended  animation,  but 
at  length  the  swoon  gave  place  to  wild  ravings,  in  which  I  re- 
vealed the  secret  of  my  heart. 

I  have  told  you  that  my  life  was  a  dream  of  delight  when  I 
first  knew  that  Herbert  wooed  me  for  his  wife ;  that  the  weeks 
following  our  marriage  had  sped  as  if  winged ;  but  never  have  I 
known  such  calm,  unalloyed  happiness,  as  in  the  long,  bright 
days  of  my  convalescence,  when  Herbert  was  more  tender,  more 

174  THE    PORTRAIT. 

devoted,  than  ever  before.  The  spring  flowers  which  he  brought 
to  cheer  my  room,  seemed  doubly  fragrant — the  poems  which  he 
read  acquired  a  new  charm,  as  he 

"  Lent  to  the  rhyme  of  the  poet 
The  beauty  of  his  voice." 

and  there  I  first  learned,  from  his  gentle  praises  and  commenda- 
tions, that  self-appreciation  is  a  duty  devolving  upon  all.  "  Every 
grace  is  not  combined  in  one,"  he  said,  —  and  told  me  that  the 
sincere  and  truthful  love  which  I  had  given  him,  endeared  me  as 
much  as  a  powerful  intellect  and  peerless  beauty  would  have 
done.  That  as  yet  I  knew  not  the  strength  of  my  own  character, 
and  in  its  development  under  his  careful  scrutiny  and  counsel, 
he  had  promised  himself  much  pleasure.  Above  all,  I  learned 
that  man's  heart  may  know  a  second  love,  pure  and  devoted, 
while  the  first  is  unforgotten.  My  error  had  been  the  too  fre- 
quent one  of  judging  the  emotions  of  another  by  my  own.  I 
left  my  room,  when  the  flush  of  health  was  once  more  restored 
to  my  cheek,  a  better  and  a  wiser  woman ;  I  had  attained  that 
perfect  love,  which  casteth  out  fear. 

The  recess  is  now  entirely  filled,  for  my  own  portrait  is  added 
to  the  two  first  placed  there.  My  husband  grows  daily  more 
proud  of  the  little  daughter,  who  sits  upon  his  knee,  and  points 
with  her  dimpled  hand  to  "good  papa" — and  her  "two  mam- 
mas"— for  she  insists  that  she  has  claim  to  both.  It  was  but 
last  evening,  that  Herbert  looked  up,  with  an  odd  smile  playing 
about  his  fine  mouth,  and  asked  me  if  I  did  not  think  our  little 
Amelia  grew  daily  more  like  the  portrait  that  had  once  been  my 
terror ;  I  replied  in  the  affirmative,  without  one  feeling  of  jeal- 
ousy, for  I  should  be  proud  to  think  that  she  resembled,  both  in 
mind  and  person,  the  first  wife  of  my  husband. 


'Tis  beautiful  to  see  a  forest  stand, 

Brave  with  its  moss-grown  monarchs,  and  the  pride 
Of  foliage  dense,  to  which  the  south  wind  bland 

Comes  with  a  kiss,  as  lover  to  his  bride ; 
To  watch  the  light  grow  fainter,  as  it  streams 

Through  arching  aisles,  where  branches  interlace, 
Where  sombre  pines  rise  o'er  the  shadowy  gleams 

Of  silver  birch,  trembling  with  modest  grace. 

But  they  who  dwell  beside  the  stream  and  hill, 

Prize  little  treasures  there  so  kindly  given; 
The  song  of  birds,  the  babbling  of  the  rill, 

The  pure  unclouded  light  and  air  of  heaven. 
They  walk  as  those  who  seeing  cannot  see, 

Blind  to  this  beauty  even  from  then1  birth, 
We  value  little  blessings  ever  free, 

We  covet  most  the  rarest  things  of  earth. 

But  rising  from  the  dust  of  busy  streets, 

These  forest  children  gladden  many  hearts ; 
As  some  old  friend  their  welcome  presence  greets 

The  toil-worn  soul,  and  fresher  life  imparts. 
Their  shade  is  doubly  grateful  when  it  lies 

Above  the  glare  which  stifling  walls  throw  back, 
Through  quivering  leaves  we  see  the  soft  blue  skies, 

Then  happier  tread  the  dull,  unvaried  track. 



And  when  the  first  fresh  foliage,  emerald-hued, 

Is  opening  slowly  to  the  sun's  glad  beams, 
How  it  recalleth  scenes  we  once  have  viewed, 

And  childhood's  fair,  but  long-forgotten  dreams ! 
The  gushing  spring,  with  violets  clustering  round — 

The  dell  where  twin  flowers  trembled  in  the  breeze- 
The  fairy  visions  wakened  by  the  sound 

Of  evening  winds  that  sighed  among  the  trees. 

There  is  a  language  given  to  the  flowers — 

To  me,  the  trees  "  dumb  oracles"  have  been  j 
As  waving  softly,  fresh  from  summer  showers, 

Their  whisper  to  the  heart  will  entrance  win. 
Do  they  not  teach  us  purity  may  live 

Amid  the  crowded  haunts  of  sin  and  shame, 
And  over  all  a  soothing  influence  give — 

Sad  hearts  from  fear  and  sorrow  oft  reclaim  ? 

And  though  transferred  to  uncongenial  soil, 

Perchance  to  breathe  alone  the  dusty  air, 
Burdened  with  sounds  of  never-ceasing  toil — 

They  rise  as  in  the  forest  free  and  fair ; 
They  do  not  droop  and  pine  at  adverse  fate, 

Or  wonder  why  their  lot  should  lonely  prove, 
But  give  fresh  life  to  hearts  left  desolate, 

Fit  emblems  of  a  pure,  unselfish  love. 






For  naught  its  power  to  STRENGTH  can  teach 


HE  family  of  Deacon  Gordon  were  gathered  in  the 
'  large  kitchen,  at  the  commencement  of  the  first 
1  snow-storm  of  the  season.  With  what  delight  the 
children  watched  the  driving  clouds  —  and  shouted 
with  exultation  as  they  tried  to  count  the  fleecy  flakes  floating 
gently  to  the  earth — nestling  upon  its  bleak,  bare  surface  as  if 
they  would  fain  shield  it  'with  a  pure  and  beautiful  mantle.  Fast- 
er and  faster  came  the  storm ;  even  the  deacon  concluded  that  it 
would  amount  to  something,  after  all ;  perhaps  there  might  be 
sleighing  on  Thanksgiving-day ;  though  he  thought  it  rather  un- 
certain. His  wife  did  not  reply  :  she  was  bidding  the  children  be 
a  little  less  noisy  in  their  mirth. 


178  THE    NEW    ENGLAND 

"  We  can  get  out  our  sleds  in  the  morning,  can't  we,  Mary?" 
said  Master  Ned.  "  I  'rn  so  glad  you  finished  my  mittens  last 
Saturday.  I  told  Tom  Kelly  I  hoped  it  would  snow  soon,  for  I 
wanted  to  see  how  warm  they  were.  Won't  I  make  the  ice-balls 

Ned  had-  grown  energetic  with  the  thought,  and  seizing  his 
mother's  ball  of  worsted,  aimed  it  at  poor  puss,  who  was  sleeping 
quietly  before  the  blazing  fire.  Alas!  for  Neddy — puss  but 
winked  her  great  sleepy  eyes  as  the  ball  whizzed  past,  and  was 
buried  in  the  pile  of  ashes  that  had  gathered  around  the  huge 
"back-log."  His  mother  did  not  scold;  she  had  never  been 
known  to  disturb  the  serenity  of  the  good  deacon  by  an  ebulli- 
tion of  angry  words.  Indeed,  the  neighbours  often  said  she  was 
too  quiet,  letting  the  children  have  their  own  way.  Mrs.  Gordon 
chose  to  rule  by  the  law  of  love,  a  mode  of  government  little 
understood  by  those  around  her.  Could  they  have  witnessed 
Ned's  penitent  look,  when  his  mother  simply  said — "  Do  you  see 
how  much  trouble  you  have  given  me,  my  son  ?  "  they  would  not 
have  doubted  its  efficacy. 

The  deacon  said  nothing,  but  opened  the  almanac  he  had  just 
taken  down  from  its  allotted  corner,  and  thought,  as  he  searched 
for  "  Nov.  25th,"  that  he  had  the  best  wife  in  the  world,  and  if 
his  children  were  not  good  it  was  their  own  fault.  The  great 
maxim  of  the  deacon's  life  had  been  "  let  well  enough  alone" — 
but  not  always  seeing  clearly  what  was  "well  enough,"  he  was 
often  surprised  when  he  found  matters  did  not  turn  out  as  he  had 
expected.  This  had  made  him  comparatively  a  poor  man,  though 
the  fine  farm  he  had  inherited  from  his  father  should  have  ren- 
dered him  perfectly  independent  of  the  world.  Little  by  little 
had  been  sold,  until  it  was  not  more  than  half  its  original  size, 

FACTORY    GIRL.  179 

and  the  remainder,  far  less  fertile  than  of  old,  scarce  yielded  a 
sufficient  support  for  his  now  numerous  family.  He  had  a  holy 
horror  of  debt,  however  —  and  with  his  wife's  rigid  and  careful 
economy,  he  managed  to  balance  accounts  at  the  end  of  the  year. 
But  this  was  all — there  was  nothing  in  reserve — should  illness 
or  misfortune  overtake  him,  life's  struggle  would  be  hard  indeed 
for  his  youthful  family. 

The  deacon  was  satisfied — he  had  found  the  day  of  the  month, 
and  in  a  spirit  of  prophecy  quite  remarkable,  the  context  added, 
"  Snow  to  be  expected  about  this  time." 

"It's  late  enough  for  snow,  that's  time,"  said  he,  as  he  care- 
fully replaced  his  "  farmer's  library,"  then  remarking  it  was  near 
time  for  tea,  he  took  up  his  blue  homespun  frock,  and  went  out 
in  the  face  of  the  storm  to  see  that  the  cattle  were  properly  cared 
for.  The  deacon  daily  exemplified  the  proverb  —  "A  merciful 
man  is  merciful  to  his  beast." 

"  Father  is  right,"  said  Mrs.  Gordon,  using  the  familiar  title 
so  commonly  bestowed  upon  the  head  of  the  family  in  that  sec- 
tion of  country.  "  Mary,  it  is  quite  time  you  were  busy,  and 
you,  James,  had  better  get  in  the  wood." 

The  young  people  to  whom  she  spoke  had  been  conversing 
apart  at  the  furthest  window  of  the  room; — Mary,  a  girl  of 
fifteen,  James,  scarce  more  than  a  year  her  senior.  They  started 
at  their  mother's  voice,  as  if  they  had  quite  forgotten  where  they 
were,  but  in  an  instant  good-humouredly  said  she  was  right,  and 
without  delay  commenced  their  several  tasks.  James  was  as- 
sisted by  Ned,  who,  since  he  had  come  into  possession  of  his  first 
pair  of  boots  —  an  era  in  the  life  of  every  boy  —  had  been  pro- 
moted to  the  office  of  chip-gatherer;  and  Sue,  a  rosy  little  girl 
of  eight  or  nine,  spread  the  table,  while  her  sister  prepared  the 


tea ;  cutting  the  snowy  loaves  made  by  her  own  hand ;  and  bring- 
ing a  roll  of  golden  butter  she  herself  had  moulded,  Mrs.  Gordon 
gave  a  look  of  general  supervision,  and  finished  the  preparations 
for  the  eYening  meal  by  the  addition  of  cheese  —  such  as  city 
people  never  see — just  as  Mr.  Gordon  and  James  returned, 
stamping  the  snow  from  their  heavy  boots,  and  sending  a  shower 
of  drops  from  the  already  melting  mass  which  clung  to  them. 

Never  was  there  a  happier  group  gathered  about  a  fanner's 
table,  and  when,  with  bowed  head  and  solemn  voice,  the  father 
had  begged  the  blessing  of  Heaven  upon  their  simple  fare,  the 
children  did  ample  justice  to  the  plain  but  substantial  viands. 
Mrs.  Gordon  wondered  how  they  found  time  to  eat,  there  was  so 
much  to  be  said  on  all  sides ;  but  talk  as  they  would — and  it  is 
an  established  fact  that  the  conversational  powers  of  children  are 
developed  with  greater  brilliancy  at  table  than  elsewhere — when 
the  repast  was  finished  there  was  very  little  reason  to  complain 
on  the  score  of  bad  appetites. 

Then  commenced  the  not  unpleasant  task  of  brightening  and 
putting  away  the  oft-used  dishes.  Mary  and  Sue  were  no  loiter- 
ers, and  by  the  time  their  mother  had  swept  the  hearth,  and  ar- 
ranged the  displaced  furniture,  cups  and  plates  were  shining  on 
the  dresser,  as  the  red  fire-light  gleamed  upon  them.  The  deacon 
sat  gazing  intently  upon  the  glowing  embers — apparently  in  deep 
meditation,  though  it  is  to  be  questioned  whether  he  thought  at 
all.  Mrs.  Gordon  had  resumed  her  knitting,  while  Sue  and  Ned, 
after  disputing  some  time  whose  turn  it  was  to  hold  the  yarn, 
were  busily  employed  in  winding  a  skein  of  worsted  into  birds- 
nest  balls. 

"  Seven  o'clock  comes  very  soon,  don't  it  Eddy  ?  "  said  Sue, 
as  their  heads  came  in  contact  at  the  unravelling  of  a  terrible 

FACTORY    GIRL.  181 

"  tangle" — I  wish  it  would  be  always  daylight,  and  then  wouldn't 
we  sit  up  a  great  many  hours  ?  I  'd  go  to  school  at  night  instead 
of  the  day-time,  and  do  all  my  errands,  and  go  to  meeting  too — 
then  we  should  have  all  day  long  to  play  in,  and  if  we  got  tired 
we  could  lie  down  on  the  grass  in  the  orchard  and  take  a  little 
nap,  or  here  before  the  fire,  if  it  was  winter.  Oh,  dear !  I  'm 
sure  I  can't  see  why  there 's  any  dark  at  all ! " 

"  You  girls  don't  know  anything,"  answered  Master  Ned,  with 
the  inherent  air  of  superiority  which  alike  animates  the  boy  and 
the  man,  where  women  are  concerned — "  If  there  was  no  night, 
what  would  become  of  the  chickens?  They  can't  go  to  sleep  in 
the  daylight,  can  they,  I  'd  like  to  know  ?  And  if  they  didn't 
go  to  sleep,  how  would  they  ever  get  fat,  or  large ;  and  maybe 
they  wouldn't  have  feathers;  then  what  would  we  do  for  bolsters, 
and  beds,  and  pillows  ?  You  didn't  think  of  that,  I  guess,  Susy." 

Ned's  patronizing  air  quite  offended  his  sister,  but  she  did  not 
stop  to  show  it,  for  she  had,  as  she  thought,  found  an  admirable 
plan  for  the  chickens. 

"  Well,"  said  she  slowly,  not  perceiving  in  her  abstraction  that 
the  skein  was  nearly  wound,  "  we  could  make  a  dark  room  in  the 
barn  for  the  biddies,  and  they  could  go  in  there  when  it  ought  to 
be  sundown.  I  guess  they'd  know — "  but  here  there  came  an 
end  to  the  skein  and  their  speculations,  for  seven  o'clock  rang 
clearly  and  loudly  from  the  wooden  time-piece  in  the  corner,  and 
the  children  obeyed  the  signal  for  bed,  not  without  many  "  oh, 
dears,"  and  wishes  that  the  clock  could  not  strike. 

"  James,"  said  his  elder  sister,  as  their  mother  left  the  room 
with  the  little  ones,  "  let  us  tell  father  and  mother  all  about  it 
to-night.     They  might  as  well  know  now  as  any  time ;  and  Ste- 
phen will  be  back  in  the  morning." 


"Don't  speak  so  loud/'  whispered  the  boy,  "father  will  hear 
you.  I  suppose  we  might  as  well ;  but  I  do  so  dread  it,  I  'in 
sure  it  would  kill  me  if  they  were  to  say  no,  and  now  I  can  hope 
at  least." 

"I  know  it  all/'  said  his  stronger-minded  adviser;  "but  I 
shall  feel  better  when  they  are  told.  I  know  mother  wonders 
what  we  are  always  whispering  about;  and  it  does  not  seem 
right  to  hide  anything  from  her.  Here  she  is,  and  when  we  've 
got  father's  cider  and  the  apples,  I  shall  tell  them  if  you 

Poor  James !  it  was  evident  that  he  had  a  cherished  project 
at  stake.  Never  before  had  he  been  so  long  in  drawing  the  cider. 
Mary  had  heaped  her  basket  with  rosy-cheeked  apples  before  he 
had  finished ;  and  when  at  length  he  came  from  the  cellar,  his 
hand  trembled,  so  that  the  brown  beverage  was  spilled  upon  the 
neat  hearth. 

"You  are  a  little  careless/'  said  his  mother;  but  the  boy 
offered  no  excuse ;  he  cast  an  imploring  glance  at  his  sister,  and 
walked  to  the  window,  though  the  night  was  dark  as  Erebus,  and 
the  sleet  struck  sharply  against  the  glass. 

"  James  and  I  want  to  talk  with  you  a  little  while,  father  and 
mother,  if  you  can  listen  now,"  said  Mary,  boldly;  and  then 
there  was  a  pause — for  she  had  dropped  a  whole  row  of  stitches 
in  her  knitting,  and  numberless  were  the  loops  which  were  left, 
as  she  took  them  up  again. 

Her  father  looked  at  her  with  a  stare  of  astonishment,  or  else 
he  was  getting  sleepy,  and  was  obliged  to  open  his  eyes  very 
widely,  lest  they  should  close  without  his  knowledge. 

"  Well,  my  child,"  said  Mrs.  Gordon,  in  a  gentle  tone  of  en- 
couragement—  for  she  thought,  from  Mary's  manner,  that  the 


development  of  the  confidential  communications  of  the  brother 
and  sister  was  at  hand. 

"  We  have  been  making  a  plan,  mother — "  but  James  could 
go  no  further,  and  left  the  sentence  unfinished.  "  Mary  will  tell 
you  all,"  he  added,  in  a  choking  voice,  as  he  turned  once  more  to 
the  window. 

Mary  did  tell  all,  clearly,  and  without  hesitation ;  while  her 
mother's  pride,  and  her  father's  astonishment,  increased  as  the 
narrative  progressed.  James,  young  as  he  was,  had  fixed  his 
heart  upon  gaining  a  classical  education — a  thing  not  so  rare  in 
the  New  England  States  as  with  us,  for  there  the  false  idea  still 
prevails,  that  a  man  is  unfit  to  enter  upon  a  profession  until  he 
has  served  the  four  years'  laborious  apprenticeship  imposed  upon 
all  "candidates  for  college  prizes."  With  us,  the  feeling  has 
almost  entirely  passed  away ;  a  man  is  not  judged  by  the  number 
of  years  he  is  supposed  to  have  devoted  to  the  literature  of  past 
ages  —  the  question  is,  what  does  he  know  ?  not,  how  was  that 
knowledge  gained  ?  But  in  the  rigid  and  formal  atmosphere  by 
which  it  was  the  fortune  of  our  little  hero  to  be  surrounded,  the 
prejudice  was  strong  as  ever ;  and  the  ambitious  boy,  in  dream- 
ing out  for  himself  a  life  of  fame  and  honour,  saw  before  him, 
as  an  obstacle  hardly  possible  of  being  surmounted,  a  collegiate 

For  months  he  had  kept  the  project  a  secret  in  his  own  heart, 
and  had  daily,  and  almost  hourly,  gone  over  and  over  again,  every 
difficulty  which  presented  itself.  He  saw  at  once  that  he  could 
expect  no  aid  from  his  father,  for  he  knew  the  constant  struggle 
going  on  in  the  household  to  narrow  increasing  expenses  to  their 
humble  means.  His  elder  brother,  Stephen,  would  even  oppose 
the  plan — for,  he  being  very  like  their  father,  was  plodding  and 


industrious,  content  with  the  present  hour,  and  heartily  despised 
books  and  schools,  as  being  entirely  beneath  his  notice.  His 
mother  would,  he  hoped,  aid  him  by  her  approval  and  encourage- 
ment— this  was  all  she  could  bestow ;  and  Mary,  however  will- 
ing, had  not  more  to  ofier.  At  length  he  resolved  to  tell  his 
sister,  who  had  ever  been  his  counsellor,  the  project  which  he 
had  so  long  cherished. 

"  I  am  not  selfish  about  it,"  said  he,  as  he  dilated  upon  the 
success  which  he  felt  sure  would  be  his,  could  this  first  stumbling- 
block  but  be  removed.  "  Think  how  much  I  could  do  for  you 
all.  Father  would  be  relieved  from  the  burden  of  supporting  me, 
for  he  does  not  need  my  assistance  now,  the  farm  is  so  small,  and 
Ed  is  growing  old  enough  to  do  all  my  work.  Then  you  should 
have  a  capital  education,  for  you  ought  to  have  it ;  and  you  could 
teach  a  school  that  would  be  more  to  the  purpose  than  the  district 
school.  After  I  had  helped  you  all,  then  I  could  work  for  my- 
self; and  mother  would  be  so  proud  of  her  son !  But,  oh ! 
Mary,"  and  the  boy's  heart  sank  within  him,  "  I  know  it  can 
never  be." 

The  two,  brother  and  sister,  as  they  sat  there  together,  were 
a  fair  illustration  of  the  "dreamer  and  the  worker."  Mary  was 
scarce  fifteen,  but  she  was  thoughtful  beyond  her  years,  yet  as 
hopeful  as  the  child.  "Yes,  I  could  keep  school,"  thought  she, 
as  she  looked  into  her  brother's  earnest  eyes.  "  What  can  hinder 
my  keeping  school  now ;  and  the  money  I  can  earn,  with  James 
having  his  vacations  to  work  in,  might  support  him." 

But  with  this  thought  came  another.  She  knew  that  the  pay 
given  to  district  school  teachers — women  especially — was  at  best 
a  bare  pittance,  scarce  more  than  sufficient  for  herself — for  she 
could  not  think  of  burdening  her  parents  with  her  maintenance 

FACTORY    GIRL.  lb-r> 

wlien  her  time  and  labour  were  not  theirs ;  and  she  knew  that  her 
education  was  too  limited  to  seek  a  larger  sphere  of  action.  So 
she  covered  her  bright  young  face  with  her  hands,  and  it  was 
clouded  for  a  time  with  deep  thought;  then  looking  suddenly  up, 
the  boy  wondered  at  the  change  which  had  passed  over  it,  there 
was  so  much  joy,  even  exultation,  in  every  feature. 

"  I  have  it,"  said  she,  throwing  her  arms  fondly  about  his  neck. 
"  I  know  how  I  can  earn  a  deal  of  money,  more  than  I  want. 
If  mother  will  let  me,  I  can  go  to  Lowell  and  work  in  a  factory. 
Susan  Hunt  paid  the  mortgage  on  her  father's  farm  in  three 
years ;  and  I  'm  sure  it  would  not  take  any  more  for  you  than 
she  earned." 

At  first  the  boy's  heart  beat  wildly ;  for  the  moment,  it  seemed 
as  if  his  dearest  wishes  were  about  to  be  accomplished.  Then 
came  a  feeling  of  reproach  at  his  own  selfishness,  in  gaining  in- 
dependence by  dooming  his  fair  young  sister  to  a  life  of  constant 
labour  and  self-denial;  wasting,  or  at  least  passing  the  bright 
hours  of  her  girlhood  in  the  midst  of  noise  and  heat,  with  rude 
associations  for  her  refined  and  gentle  nature. 

"  Oh  !  no,  Mary,"  said  he,  passionately — "  never,  never !  You 
are  too  good,  too  generous ! "  yet  the  wish  of  his  life  was  too 
strong  to  be  checked  at  once ;  and  when  Mary  pleaded,  and  urged 
him  to  consent  to  it,  and  gave  a  thousand  "  woman's  reasons " 
why  it  was  best,  and  how  easy  the  task  would  be  to  her,  when 
lightened  by  the  consciousness  that  she  was  aiding  him  to  take  a 
lofty  place  among  his  fellow-men,  he  gave  a  reluctant  consent  to 
the  plan,  ashamed  of  himself  the  while,  and  dreading  lest  his 
parents  should  oppose  what  would  seem  to  their  calmer  judgment 
an  almost  impossible  scheme. 

Day  after  day  he  had  begged  Mary  to  delay  asking  their  con- 


sent,  though  the  suspense  was  an  agony  to  the  enthusiastic  boy. 
Mary  knew  the  disappointment  would  be  terrible ;  yet  she  thought 
if  it  was  to  come,  it  had  best  be  over  with  at  once ;  and,  beside, 
she  was  more  hopeful  than  her  brother,  for  she  had  not  so  much 
at  stake.  Was  it  any  wonder,  then,  that  James  could  scarce 
breathe  while  his  sister  calmly  told  their  plans,  and  that  he  dared 
not  look  into  his  mother's  face  when  the  recital  was  ended-? 

There  was  no  word  spoken  for  some  moments  —  the  deacon 
looked  into  his  wife's  face,  as  if  he  did  not  fully  understand  what 
he  had  been  listening  to,  and  sought  the  explanation  from  her ; 
but  she  gazed  intently  at  the  fire,  revealing  nothing  by  the  ex- 
pression of  her  features  until  she  said,  "  Your  father  and  I  will 
talk  the  matter  over,  children,  and  to-morrow  you  shall  hear  what 
we  think  of  it."  Without  the  least  idea  of  the  decision  which 
would  be  made,  James  was  obliged  to  subdue  his  impatience; 
and  the  evening  passed  wearily  enough  in  listening  to  his  father's 
plans  for  repairing  the  barn,  and  making  a  new  ox-sled.  Little 
did  the  boy  hear,  though  he  seemed  to  give  undivided  attention. 

"  Have  you  well  considered  all  this,  my  child,"  said  Mrs.  Gor- 
don, as  she  put  her  hand  tenderly  upon  her  daughter's  forehead, 
and  looked  earnestly  into  her  sweet  blue  eyes.  "  James  is  in 
his  own  room,  so  do  not  fear  to  speak  openly.  Are  you  not  mis- 
led by  your  love  for  him,  and  your  wish  that  he  should  succeed." 

"  No,  mother,  I  have  thought  again  and  again,  and  I  know  I 
could  work  from  morning  till  night  without  complaining,  if  I 
knew  he  was  happy.  Then  it  will  be  but  three  or  four  years 
at  the  farthest,  and  I  shall  be  hardly  nineteen  then.  I  can  study, 
too,  in  the  evenings  and  mornings,  and  sometimes  I  can  get  away 
for  whole  weeks,  and  come  up  here  to  see  you  all;  Lowell  is  not 
very  far,  you  know." 

FACTORY    GIRL.  187 

"  But  there  is  another  thing,  Mary.  Do  you  not  know  that 
there  are  many  people  who  consider  it  as  a  disgrace  to  toil  thus 
— who  would  ridicule  you  for  publicly  acknowledging  labour  was 
necessary  for  you ;  they  would  perhaps  shun  your  society,  and 
you  would  be  wounded  by  seeing  them  neglect  and  perhaps 
openly  avoid  you." 

"  I  should  not  care  at  all  for  that,  mother.  Why  is  it  any 
worse  to  work  at  Lowell  than  at  home ;  and  you  tell  me  very 
often  that  I  support  myself  now.  People  that  love  me  would 
go  on  loving  me  just  as  well  as  ever;  and  those  who  don't  love 
me,  I  'm  sure  I  'm  willing  they  should  act  as  they  like." 

"I  think  myself,"  replied  her  mother,  pleased  at  the  true 
spirit  of  independence  that  she  saw  filled  her  daughter's  heart, 
"  that  the  opinion  of  those  who  despise  honest  labour,  is  not  worth 
caring  for.  But  you  are  young,  and  sneers  will  have  their  effect. 
You  must  remember  this — it  is  but  natural.  There  is  one  thing 
else — we  may  both  be  mistaken  about  the  ability  of  your  brother ; 
he  may  be  himself — and  you  could  not  bear  to  see  him  fail,  after 
all.  Think,  it  may  be  so ;  and  then  all  your  time  and  your  earn- 
ings will  be  lost." 

"Not  lost,  mother,"  said  the  young  girl,  her  eyes  sparkling 
with  love  and  hope,  "  I  should  have  done  all  I  could  to  help 
James,  you  know." 

Mrs.  Gordon  kissed  her  good-night  with  a  full  heart.  She  was 
proud  of  her  children ;  and  few  mothers  have  more  reason  for 
the  natural  feeling.  "  I  cannot  bear  to  disappoint  her,"  thought 
she,  yet  the  scheme  seemed  every  moment  more  childish  and 

James  rose,  not  with  the  sun,  but  long  before  it ;  and  when  his 
father  came  down,  he  was  already  busily  employed  in  clearing  a 

188  THE    NEW    ENGLAND 

path  to  the  well  and  the  barn — for  the  snow  had  fallen  so  heavily, 
that  the  drifts  gathered  by  the  night  wind,  in  its  rude  sport,  were 
piled  to  the  very  windows,  obscuring  the  niisty  light  of  the 
winter's  morn.  How  beautiful  were  those  snow-wreaths  in  their 
perfect  purity  !  The  brown  and  knotted  fences,  the  dingy  out- 
buildings, we're  all  covered  with  dazzling  drapery ;  and  the  leafless 
trees  were  bowed  beneath  the  weight  of  a  fantastic  foliage  that 
glittered  in  the  clear  beams  of  the  rising  sun  with  a  splendour 
that  was  almost  painful  to  behold. 

"  It  won't  last  long  with  this  sun,"  said  the  deacon,  as  he  tied 
a  '  comforter '  about  his  throat ;  "  but  perhaps  you  '11  have  time 
to  give  Mary  and  the  children  a  ride  before  the  roads  are  bare 
again.  Mary  must  do  all  her  sleighing  this  winter,  for  she  won't 
have  much  time  if  she  goes  to  the  factory,  poor  child  \" 

The  deacon  passed  on  with  heavy  strides  to  the  barn-yard,  and 
left  James  to  hope  that  their  petition  was  not  rejected.  It  was 
not  many  minutes  after,  that  Mary  came  bounding  down  the  stone 
steps,  heedless  of  the  snow  in  which  she  trod ;  and  the  instant 
he  looked  upon  her  face,  he  was  no  longer  in  doubt. 

"Isn't  mother  good,  James!  She  just  called  me  into  her 
room,  and  told  me  that  father  and  she  have  concluded  we  can  try 
it  at  least ;  and  Stephen  is  not  to  know  anything  about  it  until 
next  April,  when  I  am  to  go.  We  must  both  of  us  study  very 
hard  this  winter,  and  I  shall  have  such  a  deal  of  sewing  to  do." 

Mary  spoke  with  delighted  eagerness.  One  would  have  thought, 
beholding  her  joy,  that  it  was  a  pleasant  journey  which  she  an- 
ticipated, or  that  a  fortune  had  unexpectedly  been  left  to  her ; 
and  yet  the  spring  so  longed  for  would  find  her  among  strangers, 
working  in  a  close  and  crowded  room  through  the  bright  days. 
But  a  contented  spirit  hath  its  own  sunshine ;  and  the  dearest 

FACTORY    GIRL.  189 

pleasure  that  mankind  may  know,  is  contributing  to  the  happi- 
ness of  those  we  love.  The  less  selfish  our  devotion  to  friends, 
the  more  sacrificing  our  self-denial  in  their  behalf,  the  greater  is 
the  reward ;  so  Mary's  step  was  more  elastic  than  ever,  and  hex- 
bright  eyes  shone  with  a  steady,  cheerful  light,  as  she  went  about 
her  daily  tasks. 

As  she  said,  it  was  necessary  that  they  should  both  be  very 
busy  through  the  winter,  for  James  hoped  to  be  able  to  enter 
college  in  August;  and  Mary,  who  had  heretofore  kept  pace 
with  him  in  most  of  his  studies,  though  she  did  stumble  at 
"  tupto,  tupso,  tetupha,"  and  vow  that  Greek  was  not  intended  for 
girls,  did  not  wish  to  give  up  her  Latin  and  Geometry.  They 
had  such  a  kind  teacher  in  Mr.  Lane,  the  village  lawyer,  that  an 
ambition  to  please  him  made  them  at  first  forget  the  difficulties 
of  the  dry  rudiments ;  and  then  it  was  that  James  first  began  to 
dream  of-  one  day  being  able  to  plead  causes  himself — of  study- 
ing a  profession.  Mr.  Lane,  unconsciously,  had  encouraged  this 
by  telling  his  little  pupils,  to  whom  he  was  much  attached,  the 
difficulties  that  had  beset  his  youthful  career,  and  how  he  had 
gained  an  honest  independence,  when  he  had  at  first  been  without 
friends  or  means.  Then  he  would  look  up  at  his  pretty  young 
wife,  or  put  out  his  arms  to  their  little  one,  as  if  he  thought,  And 
is  not  this  a  sufficient  reward  for  those  years  of  toil  and  despon- 
dence ?  James  remembered,  when  he  was  a  student,  teaching  in 
vacations  to  aid  in  supporting  himself  through  term  time.  He 
had  boarded  at  Mr.  Gordon's ;  and  when  he  came  to  settle  in  the 
village,  years  after,  he  had  offered  to  teach  James  and  Mary,  as 
a  slight  recompense  for  Mrs.  Gordon's  early  kindness  to  the  poor 
student.  Two  hours  each  afternoon  were  passed  in  Mr.  Lane's 
pleasant  little  study ;  and  though  Stephen  thought  it  was  time 



wasted;  he  did  not  complain  much,  for  James  was  doubly  active 
in  the  morning.  Mary,  too,  accomplished  twice  as  much  as  ever 
before ;  and  after  the  day's  routine  of  household  labour  and  study 
was  over,  her  needle  flew  quickly,  as  she  prepared  her  little 
wardrobe  for  leaving  home.  March  was  nearly  through  before 
they  felt  that  spring  had  come;  and  though  Mary's  eyes  were 
sometimes  filled  with  tears  at  the  thought  of  the  approaching  sepa- 
ration, they  were  quickly  dried,  and  the  first  of  April  found  her 
unshaken  in  her  resolution. 



0-MORROW  will  be  the  last  day  at  home," 
thought  Mary,  as  she  bade  her  mother  good- 
night, and  turned  quickly  to  her  own  room  to 
conceal  the  tears  that  would  start ;  and,  though 
they  fringed  the  lashes  of  the  drooping  lid  when  at  last  she  slept, 
the  repose  was  gentle  and  undisturbed  —  and  she  awoke  at  early 
dawn  content,  almost  happy.  The  morning  air  came  freshly  to 
her  face  as  she  leaned  out  of  the  window  to  gaze  once  more  on 
the  extended  landscape.  Far  away  upon  the  swelling  hill-side, 
patches  of  snow  yet  lingered,  while  near  them  the  fresh  grass 
was  springing ;  and  the  old  wood  at  the  back  of  the  house,  was 
clothed  anew  in  the  emerald  verdure.  The  sombre  pines  were 
lighted  by  the  glittering  sunlight,  as  it  lingered  lovingly  among 
their  dim  branches  ere  bursting  away  to  illumine  the  very  depths 
of  the  solitude  with  smiles.  A  pleasant  perfume  was  wafted 

FACTORY     GIRL.  191 

from  the  Arbutus,  just  putting  forth  its  delicate  blossoms  from 
their  sheltering  covert  of  dark-green  leaves  mingled  with  the 
breath  of  the  snowy-petaled  dogwood,  and  the  blue  violets  that 
were  bedded  in  the  rich  moss  on  the  banks  of  the  little  stream. 
The  brook  itself  went  singing  on  its  way  as  it  wound  through  the 
darksome  forest,  and  fell  with  a  plash,  and  a  murmur,  over  the 
huge  stones  that  would  have  turned  it  aside  from  its  course. 

It  was  the  first  bright  day  of  spring ;  and  it  seemed  as  if  nature 
had  assumed  its  loveliest  dress  to  tempt  the  young  girl  to  forego 
her  resolve.  "Home  never  looked  so  beautiful,"  thought  she, 
turning  from  the  window ;  and  her  step  was  not  light  as  usual 
when  she  joined  the  family.  Mrs.  Gordon  was  serene  as  ever; 
no  one  could  have  told  from  her  manner  that  she  was  about  to 
part  with  her  daughter  for  the  first  time ;  but  the  children  were 
sobbing  bitterly  —  for  they  had  just  been  told  that  the  day  had 
come  when  their  sister  was  to  leave  them.  They  clung  to  her 
dress  as  she  entered,  and  begged  her  not  to  go. 

"What  shall  we  do  without  you,  Mary?"  said  they;  "the 
house  will  be  so  lonesome." 

Even  Stephen  —  although  when  the  plan  was  first  revealed  to 
him  he  had  opposed  it  obstinately — was  melted  to  something  like 
forgiveness  when  he  saw  that  nothing  could  change  her  firm 

"I  suppose  we  must  learn  to  live  without  you,  Molly,"  said 
he ;  "  take  good  care  of  yourself,  child  —  but  let 's  have  break- 
fast now." 

The  odd  combination,  spite  of  her  sadness,  brought  the  old 
smile  to  Mary's  lip;  and  when  breakfast  was  over,  and  the 
deacon  took  the  large  family  Bible  from  its  appointed  resting- 
place,  and  gathered  his  little  flock  about  him,  they  listened  quietly 


and  earnestly  to  the  truths  of  holy  writ.  That  family  Bible  I  It 
was  almost  the  first  thing  that  Mary  could  recollect.  She  remem- 
bered sitting  on  her  father's  knee,  in  the  long,  bright  Sabbath 
afternoons,  and  looking  with  profound  awe  and  astonishment  into 
the  baize-covered  volume,  at  the  quaint,  unartistic  prints  that 
were  scattered  through  it.  She  recalled  the  shiver  of  horror  with 
which  she  looked  on  "  Daniel  in  the  den  of  Zions,"  the  curiosity 
which  the  picture  of  the  Garden  of  Eden  called  forth,  and  the 
undefined,  yet  calm  and  placid  feeling  which  stole  over  her  as 
she  dwelt  longest  upon  the  "Baptism  of  our  Saviour."  Then 
there  was  the  family  record  —  her  own  birth,  and  that  of  her 
brothers  and  sisters,  were  chronicled  underneath  that  of  genera- 
tions now  sleeping  in  the  shadow  of  the  village  church.  But  this 
train  of  thought  was  broken,  as  they  reverentially  knelt  when  the 
volume  was  closed,  and  listened  to  their  father's  humble  and  fer- 
vent petition  that  God  would  watch  and  guard  them  all,  especially 
commending  to  the  protection  of  Heaven,  "  the  lamb  now  going 
out  from  their  midst." 

There  were  tears  even  upon  Mrs.  Gordon's  face  when  the 
prayer  was  ended,  but  there  was  no  time  to  indulge  in  a  long 
and  soiTowful  parting.  The  trunks  were  standing  already  corded 
in  the  hall;  the  little  travelling-basket  was  filled  with  home- 
baked  luxuries  for  the  wayside  lunch;  and  Mary  was  soon 
arrayed  in  her  plain  merino  dress  and  little  straw  bonnet.  There 
are  some  persons  who  receive  whatever  air  of  fashion  and  refine- 
ment they  may  have  from  their  dress ;  others  who  impart  to  the 
coarsest  material  a  grace  that  the  most  rechercht  costume  fails  to 
give.  Our  heroine  was  one  of  the  last ;  and  never  was  Chestnut 
street  belle  more  beautiful  than  our  simple  country  lassie,  as  she 

FACTORY    GIRL.  193 

stood  with  her  mother's  arm  twined  about  her  waist,  receiving 
her  parting  counsel. 

The  last  words  were  said.  James,  in  an  agony  of  grief,  had 
kissed  her  again  and  again,  reproaching  himself  constantly  for 
his  selfishness  in  consenting  that  she  should  go.  The  children, 
forgetting  their  tears  in  the  excitement  of  the  moment,  ran  with 
haste  to  announce  that  the  stage  was  just  coming  over  the  hill. 
Yes,  it  was  standing  before  the  garden-gate  —  the  trunks  were 
lifted  from  the  door-stone  —  the  clattering  steps  fell  at  her  feet 
—  a  moment  more,  and  Mary  was  whirled  away  from  her  quiet 
home,  with  her  father's  counsel,  and  her  mother's  earnest  "  God 
bless  you,  and  keep  you,  my  child ! "  ringing  in  her  ears. 

It  was  quite  dark  ere  the  second  day's  weary  journey  was  at 
an  end.  Mary  could  scarce  believe  it  possible  at  first  that 
she  had,  indeed,  arrived  in  the  great  city.  As  they  drove 
rapidly  through  the  crowded  streets,  she  caught  a  glance 
at  the  brilliantly-lighted  stores,  and  the  many  gaily-dressed 
people  that  thronged  them.  Again  the  scene  changed,  and 
she  looked  upon  the  dark-brick  walls  that  loomed  up  before 
her,  and  knew  that  in  one  of  those  buildings  she  was  destined  to 
pass  many  sad  and  solitary  days.  How  prison-like  they  seemed ! 
Her  heart  sank  within  her  as  she  gazed ;  the  lights  —  the  con- 
fusion —  bewildered  her  already  wearied  brain ;  and  as  she  sunk 
back  into  the  corner  of  the  coach,  and  buried  her  face  in  her 
hands,  she  would  have  given  worlds  to  have  been  once  more  in 
her  still,  pleasant  home.  The  feeling  of  utter  desolation  and 
loneliness  overcame  completely,  for  the  time,  her  firm  and 
buoyant  spirit. 

She  was  roused  from  her  gloomy  reverie  as  the  stage  stopped 
before  the  door  of  a  small  but  very  comfortable  dwelling,  at  some 

194  THE    NEW    ENGLAND 

distance  from  the  principal  thoroughfares.  This  was  the  resi- 
dence of  a  sister  of  Mrs.  Lane's,  to  whom  she  had  a  letter,  and 
who  was  expecting  her  arrival.  She  met  Mary  upon  the  step 
with  a  pleasant  smile  of  welcome,  not  at  all  as  if  she  had  been  a 
stranger;  and  her  husband  assisted  the  coachman  to  remove  the 
various  packages  to  a  neat  little  room  into  which  Mary  was 
ushered  by  her  kind  hostess,  Mrs.  Hall.  She  was  very  like  her 
sister,  but,  older  and  graver.  Mary's  heart  yearned  toward  her 
from  the  moment  of  kindly  greeting ;  and  when  they  entered  the 
cheerful  parlour  together,  the  young  guest  was  almost  happy  once 
more.  The  children  of  the  family,  two  noisy  little  rogues,  and 
a  baby  sister,  came  for  a  kiss  ere  they  left  the  room  for  the  night ; 
and  then,  with  Mrs.  Hall's  piano,  and  her  husband's  pleasant 
conversation,  Mary  forgot  her  timidity  and  her  sadness  as  the 
evening  wore  away. 

"  Mr.  Hall  will  go  with  you  to-morrow  to  the  scene  of  your 
new  life,"  said  her  hostess,  as  she  bade  her  young  charge  good- 
night. ""We  have  arranged  every  thing,  and  I  trust  you  may  be 
happy,  even  though  away  from  your  friends.  We  must  try  to 
make  a  new  home  for  you." 

Mary  "blessed  her  unaware"  for  her  kindness  to  a  stranger; 
and  though  nearly  a  hundred  miles  from  those  she  loved,  felt 
contented  and  cheerful,  and  soon  fell  asleep  to  dream  that  she 
was  once  more  by  her  mother's  side. 

Again  that  feeling  of  desolation  returned,  when,  upon  the 
morrow,  leaning  upon  the  arm  of  Mr.  Hall,  she  passed  through 
the  crowded  streets,  and  shrank  back  as  the  passing  multitude 
jostled  against  each  other.  It  seemed  as  if  every  one  gazed 
curiously  at  her ;  yet,  perchance,  not  one  amid  the  throng  heeded 
the  timid  little  stranger.  She  was  first  conducted  to  the  house 

FACTORY    GIRL.  105 

they  had  chosen  for  her  boarding-place,  and  though  the  lady  at 
its  head  received  her  kindly,  she  felt  more  lonely  than  ever,  as 
she  passed  through  the  long  halls,  and  was  regarded  with  looks, 
of  curiosity  by  the  groups  of  young  girls  who  were  just  leaving 
the  house  to  enter  upon  their  daily  tasks.  They  were  laughing 
and  chatting  gaily  with  each  other ;  and  poor  Mary  wondered 
if  she  should  ever  feel  as  careless  and  happy  as  they  seemed 
to  be. 

Then  they  turned  toward  the  "corporation,"  or  factory,  in 
which  a  place  had  been  engaged  for  her.  Oh,  how  endless 
seemed  those  long,  noisy  rooms;  how  weary  she  grew  of  new 
faces,  and  the  strange  din  that  rose  up  from  the  city.  "  I  never 
shall  endure  this,"  thought  the  poor  girl.  "I  shall  never  be 
able  to  learn  my  work.  How  can  they  go  about  so  careless  and 
unconcerned,  performing  their  duties,  as  it  were,  mechanically, 
without  thought  or  annoyance  ?  But  for  poor  Jamie  I  would 
return  to-morrow;"  and  with  the  thought  of  her  brother  came 
new  hope,  new  energy  —  and  she  resolved  to  enter  upon  her 
task  boldly,  and  without  regret. 

Yet  for  many  days,  even  weeks,  much  of  her  time  was  spent 
in  sadness,  struggle  as  she  would  against  the  feeling.  The  girls 
with  whom  she  was  called  daily  to  associate,  were,  most  of  them, 
kind  and  good-tempered ;  and  though  her  instructors  did  laugh 
a  little  at  her  awkwardness  at  first,  she  had  entered  so  resolutely 
upon  her  new  tasks  that  they  soon  became  comparatively  easy  to 
her ;  and  she  was  so  indefatigable  and  industrious,  that  her  earn- 
ings, after  a  time,  became  even  more  considerable  than  she  had 
hoped  for. 

Still  she  was  often  weary,  and  almost  tempted  to  despond. 
The  confinement  and  the  noise  was  so  new  to  her,  that  at  first 

196  THE    NEW   ENGLAND 

her  health  partially  gave  way,  and  for  several  weeks  she  feared 
that  after  all  she  would  be  obliged  to  return  to  the  free  mountain- 
air  of  her  country  home.  At  such  times  she  went  wearily  to  her 
labours,  and  often  might  have  uttered  Miss  Barret's  "  Moan  of 
the  Children/'  as  she  pressed  her  hands  upon  her  throbbing 

"  All  day  long  the  wheels  are  droning,  turning, 

Their  wind  comes  in  our  faces, 
Till  our  hearts  turn,  and  our  heads  with  pulses  burning ; 

And  the  walls  turn  in  their  places ! 
Turns  the  sky  in  the  high  window,  blank  and  reeling ; 

Turns  the  long  light  that  droopeth  down  the  wall ; 
Turn  the  black  flies  that  crawl  along  the  ceiling — 

All  are  turning  all  the  day,  and  we  with  alL 
All  day  long  the  iron  wheels  are  droning, 

And  sometimes  we  could  pray, 
'  Oh,  ye  wheels,'  (breaking  off  in  a  mad  moaning) 

•Stop !  be  silent  for  to-day  I' " 

Then,  when  despondency  was  fast  crushing  her  spirit,  there 
would,  perhaps,  come  a  long  hopeful  letter  from  her  brother,  who 
was  studying  almost  night  and  day,  and  a  new  ambition  would 
rise  in  her  heart,  a  fresh  strength  animate  her,  until  at  last,  in 
the  daily  performance  of  her  duties,  in  the  knowledge  of  the 
happiness  she  was  thus  enabled  to  confer  upon  others,  her  mind 
became  calm  and  contented,  and  her  health  fully  restored. 

Thus  passed  the  first  year  of  her  absence  from  home.  She 
had  become  accustomed  to  the  habits  and  manners  of  those 
around  her;  and  though  some  of  the  girls  called  her  a  little 
Methodist,  and  sneered  at  her  plain  economical  dress,  even 
declaring  she  was  parsimonious,  because  they  knew  that  she 

FACTORY    GIRL.  197 

rigidly  limited  her  expenses  to  a  very  small  portion  of  her  earn- 
ings, there  were  others  among  her  associates  who  fully  appre- 
ciated the  generous,  self-sacrificing  spirit  which  animated  her, 
and  loved  her  for  the  gentleness  and  purity  which  all  noticed 
pervaded  her  every  thought  and  act. 

Then,  too,  Mrs.  Hall  was  ever  her  steadfast  friend.  One 
evening  in  every  week  was  spent  in  that  happy  family  circle  j 
and  there  she  often  met  refined  and  agreeable  society,  from  which 
she  insensibly  took  a  tone  of  mind  and  manner  that  was  far 
superior  to  that  of  her  companions.  Mrs.  Hall  directed  her 
reading,  and  furnished  many  books  Mary  herself  was  unable  to 
procure.  Thus  month  after  month  slipped  by,  and  our  heroine 
had  almost  forgotten  she  was  among  strangers,  until  she  began 
to  look  forward  to  a  coming  meeting  with  those  she  loved  in  her 
own  dear  home. 




OW  vexatious  is  delay  of  any  kind,  when  one's 
mind  is  prepared  for  a  journey,  "made  up  to  go/' 
as  a  good  aunt  used  to  say.  Mary  grew  anxious, 
and  almost  impatient,  as  April  passed  and  found 
her  still  an  inhabitant  of  the  city  of  looms  and  spindles.  The 
more  so,  that  spring  was  the  favourite  season,  and  she  longed  to 
watch  its  coming  in  the  haunts  of  her  childhood;  and  in  the 
busy,  bustling  atmosphere  by  which  she  was  surrounded,  none 


gave  heed  to  the  steps  of  "  the  light-footed  maiden/'  save  that 
our  heroine's  companions  availed  themselves  of  the  balmier  air 
to  dress  more  gaily.  In  our  larger  cities,  the  ladies  are  the  only 
spring  blossoms.  It  is  they  who  tell  us,  by  bright  l^nts  and  fa- 
brics, that  the  time  has  come  when  nature  puts  on  her  gay  appa- 
relling ',  yet  it  is  in  vain  that  they  imitate  the  lilies  of  the  field ; 
there  is  a  grace,  a  delicacy  in  those  frail  blossoms,  that  art  never 
can  rival. 

Mary  had  BO  longed  for  the  winter  to  pass,  she  had  even 
counted  the  days  that  must  intervene  before  she  could  hope  to 
see  her  mother,  and  all  the  dear  ones  at  home.  The  little  gifts 
she  had  prepared  for  them  were  looked  over  again  and  again ; 
and  each  time  some  trifle  had  been  added,  until  she  almost  began 
to  fear  she  was  growing  extravagant.  But  she  worked  cheerfully, 
and  most  industriously,  through  the  pleasant  days,  and  when  eve- 
ning came,  she  would  dream,  in  the  solitude  of  her  little  room, 
of  the  meeting  so  soon  to  arrive. 

"  A  letter  for  you,  Mary — from  home,  I  imagine,"  said  her 
gay  friend,  Lizzie  Ellis,  bursting  into  her  room  one  bright  May 
morning.  "  I  called  at  the  post-office  for  myself,  and  found  this, 
only.  It 's  too  bad  the  people  at  home  don't  think  enough  of 
their  sister  to  write  once  a  month ;  but  I'm  not  sorry  that  your 
friends  are  more  punctual.  There 's  good  news  for  you,  I  hope, 
or  you'll  be  more  mopish  than  ever." 

Mary's  lip  quivered  as  she  looked  up.  The  instant  the  sheet 
was  unfolded  in  her  hand,  she  saw  that  it  bore  no  common  mes- 
sage. There  were  but  a  few  lines,  written  in  a  hurried,  nervous 
manner ;  and  as  her  eye  glanced  hastily  over  the  page,  she  found 
that  she  was  not  mistaken. 

"  Poor  little  Sue  is  very  ill,"  said  she,  in  reply  to  her  friend'a 


anxious  queries ;  "  mother  lias  written  for  me  to  come  directly, 
or  I  may  never  see  her  again  " — her  tone  grew  indistinct,  as  she 
ceased  to  speak ;  and  leaning  her  face  upon  Lizzie's  shoulder,  a 
burst  of  tears  and  choking  sobs  relieved  her.  Poor  Sue — and 
poor  Mary !  It  would  not  have  been  so  hard,  could  she  have 
watched  by  her  sister's  bedside,  and  aided  to  soothe  the  pain  and 
the  fear  of  the  dear  little  one  who  had  from  the  time  of  her  birth 
been  Mary's  especial  care. 

Delay  had  before  been  vexatious,  but  it  was  now  agony.  The 
few  hours  that  elapsed  before  she  was  on  the  way,  were  as  weeks 
to  Mary's  impatient  spirit ;  and  then  the  miles  seemed  so  endless, 
the  dreary  road  most  solitary.  The  night  was  passed  in  sleepless 
tossing,  and  the  afternoon  of  the  second  day  found  her  scarcely 
able  to  control  her  restless  agitation.  She  was  then  rapidly  near- 
ing  home.  Everything  had  a  familiar  aspect;  the  farm-houses — 
the  huge  rocks  that  lifted  their  hoary  heads  by  the  roadside — 
the  dark,  deep  woods — the  village  church — were  in  turn  recog- 
nized. Then  came  the  long  ascent  of  the  hill,  which  alone  hid 
her  home  from  view.  Even  that  was  at  last  accomplished,  and 
she  caught  a  glimpse  of  the  dear  old  homestead,  its  rambling 
dark-brown  walls,  half-hidden  by  the  clump  of  broad-leaved 
maples  that  clustered  about  it.  Could  it  be  reality,  that  she  was 
once  more  so  near  all  whom  she  loved  ?  There  was  no  decep- 
tion ;  it  was  not  the  delusive  phantom  of  a  passing  dream ;  her 
brother's  glad  greeting  was  too  earnest;  her  mother's  sobbed 
blessing  too  tender.  After  the  hopes  and  plans  of  many  weeks — 
even  months — such  was  her  "  welcome  home." 

"  You  are  in  time  to  see  your  sister  once  more/'  said  Mrs. 
Gordon,  as  she  released  Mary  from  a  fond  embrace ;  and  a  feeble 

200  THE    NEW   ENGLAND 

voice  from  the  adjoining  room,  a  whisper,  rather  than  a  call, 
came  softly  to  her  ears. 

"  Dear  Susie — my  poor  darling  I"  were  all  the  spoken  words, 
as  she  clasped  the  little  sufferer  in  her  arms.  The  child  made 
no  sound,  not  eren  a  murmur  of  delight  escaped  her  wan  lips. 
She  folded  her  thin,  pale  hands  about  her  sister's  neck,  and 
gently  laying  her  head  upon  the  bosom  which  had  so  often  pil- 
lowed it,  lay  with  her  large  spiritual  eyes  fixed  upon  those  regard- 
ing her  so  tenderly,  as  if  she  feared  a  motion  might  cause  the 
loved  vision  to  vanish.  Fast  flowing  tears  fell  silently  upon  her 
face,  but  she  heeded  them  not ;  then  came  fierce  pain,  that  dis- 
torted every  feature,  but  still  no  moan,  no  sound, 

"  Speak  to  me,  Susie,  will  you  not ! "  whispered  Mary,  awed 
by  the  fixed,  intense  gaze  of  those  mournful  eyes. 

"  I  knew  you  would  come,  sister,  to  see  me  once  more  before 
I  go,"  was  the  murmured  reply.  "  I  knew  God  would  let  me 
meet  you  here,  before  he  takes  me  to  be  an  angel  in  heaven.  I 
am  ready  now,  for  I  said  good-bye  to  mother  and  Jamie,  and  all, 
long  ago.  I  only  waited  for  you,  dear  Mary.  Kiss  me,  won't 
you — kiss  me  again,  and  call  mother — I  feel  very  strangely." 

Her  mother  bent  over  her,  but  she  was  not  recognized ;  her 
father  took  one  of  those  emaciated  hands  within  his  own,  but  it 
was  cold,  and  gave  back  no  pressure.  Awe  fell  upon  every  heart 
in  that  hushed  and  stricken  group ;  there  was  no  struggle  with 
the  dark  angel,  for  the  silver  cord  was  gently  loosened.  The 
calm  gaze  of  those  radiant  eyes  grew  fixed,  unchangeable — a  faint 
flutter,  and  the  heart's  quick  pulsations  for  ever  ceased. 

Mary  calmly  laid  the  little  form  back  upon  the  pillow.  Her 
mother's  hand  closed  the  already  drooping  lids ;  a  sweet  smile 

FACTORY    GIRL.  201 

stole  gently  round  the  mouth,  and  its  radiance  dwelt  upon  the 
marble  forehead. 

"  It  is  well  with  the  child/'  said  the  bereaved  parent — and  her 
husband  bending  beside  the  bed  of  death,  prayed  fervently, 
while  the  sobs  of  his  remaining  children  fell  upon  his  ears,  that 
they  might  be  also  ready. 

"  Oh,  mother,  how  can  I  bear  this !  how  can  you  be  so  calm 
and  resigned!"  said  Mary,  as  her  mother  sat  down  beside  her 
in  the  twilight,  and  spoke  of  the  sorrowful  illness  of  their  faded 
flower.  "  I  had  planned  so  much  for  Susie ;  I  thought  as  much 
of  her  as  of  myself,  and  here  are  the  books,  and  all  these  things 
that  I  thought  would  make  her  so  happy ;  she  did  not  even  see 
them.  Why  was  she  taken  away,  so  good,  so  loving  as  she  al- 
ways was?" 

"  And  would  you  wish  her  back  again,  my  child ;  has  she  not 
more  cause  to  mourn  for  us,  than  we  for  her  ?  Think — she  has 
passed  through  the  greatest  suffering  that  mortal  may  know ;  she 
has  entered  upon  a  world  the  glory  of  which  it  '  hath  not  entered 
into  the  heart  of  man  to  conceive  of;'  and  would  you  recall  her 
to  this  scene  of  trial  and  temptation  ?  Rather  pray,  dear  Mary, 
that  we  may  meet  her  again  in  her  bright  and  glorious  home. 
I,  her  mother,  though  mourning  for  my  own  loneliness  and  be- 
reavement, thank  God  that  my  child  is  at  rest." 

"  If  I  could  only  feel  as  you  do,  mother;  but  I  cannot.  Poor 
Susie  I"  and  Mary's  tears  burst  forth  afresh. 

She  begged  to  be  allowed  to  watch  through  the  night  beside 
the  form  of  the  lost  one,  even  though  she  knew  the  spirit  had 
departed.  But  her  mother  would  not  allow  this  —  some  young 
friends,  whom  Mary  could  not  greet  that  night,  though  she  loved 
them  very  dearly,  claimed  the  sad  duty.  And  again,  after  a  year 

202  THE   NEW   EN  GLAND 

of  new  and  strange  life,  she  found  herself  reposing  in  her  own 
quiet  room,  with  sighing  trees,  the  voice  of  the  brook,  and  the 
low  cry  of  the  solitary  whippo-wil,  to  lull  her  to  sweet  sleep. 

It  was  Sabbath  morning,  calm  and  holy.  The  bell  of  the  little 
village  church  tolled  sadly  and  reverently,  as  the  funeral  train 
wound  through  the  shaded  lane.  All  the  young  people  for  miles 
around  had  gathered  in  the  church-yard ;  and  as  the  coffin  was 
borne  beneath  the  trees  that  waved  over  its  entrance,  they  joined 
in  the  procession.  It  passed  toward  the  place  of  worship,  and 
for  the  last  time  the  form  of  their  little  friend  entered  the  sacred 

The  simple  coffin  was  placed  in  the  broad  central  aisle,  the 
choir  sang  a  sweet,  yet  mournful  dirge  ;  then  the  voice  of  music 
and  of  weeping  was  hushed,  for  the  man  of  God  communed,  with 
faltering  voice,  with  the  Father  in  heaven,  who  had  seen  fit  in 
his  mercy  to  take  this  lamb  to  his  bosom ;  and  when  the  prayer 
was  ended,  and  an  earnest  and  impressive  address  was  made  to 
those  who  had  been  bereaved,  and  those  who  sympathized  with 
them,  the  friends  and  playmates  of  the  little  one  clustered  about 
the  coffin  to  take  a  farewell  glance  of  those  lifeless  yet  beautiful 

The  pure  folds  of  the  snowy  shroud  were  gathered  about  the 
throat,  and  upon  it  were  crossed  the  slender  hands,  in  which 
rested  a  fading  sprig  of  white  violets,  placed  there  by  some  friend, 
as  a  fit  emblem  of  the  sleeper.  Pier  sunny  curls  were  smoothly 
bound  back  beneath  the  cap,  and  its  border  of  transparent  lace 
threw  a  slight  shadow  upon  the  deeply  fringed  lids  that  were  never 
more  to  be  stirred.  Oh  !  the  exceeding  beauty  and  holiness  of 
that  childish  face,  in  its  perfect  repose  !  None  shuddered  as  they 
gazed;  the  horror  of  death  had  departed;  but  tears  ca^e  to  the 

FACTORY    GIRL.  203 

eyes  of  many,  as  they  bent  down  to  kiss  that  pure  forehead  for 
the  last  time. 

Ay,  "  the  last  time  ! "  for  the  lid  was  closed,  as  the  congrega- 
tion passed,  one  by  one,  once  more  into  the  church-yard,  shutting 
out  the  light  of  day  from  that  still,  pale  face,  for  ever.  The 
mother  gazed  no  more  upon  her  child  —  brother  and  sister  must 
henceforth  dwell  upon  her  loveliness  but  in  memory — the  father 
wept — and  man's  tears  are  scalding  drops  of  agony. 

Many  lingered  until  the  simple  rites  were  ended,  and  then 
turned  away  under  the  shade  of  sombre  pines,  to  think  of  the 
loneliness  that  must  dwell  in  the  hearts  of  those  from  whom  such 
a  treasure  had  been  taken ;  and  they,  as  they  turned  to  a  home 
that  seemed  almost  desolate,  tried  in  vain  to  subdue  the  bitterness 
of  their  anguish.  They  had  seen  her  grave — and  who  that  has 
stood  beside  the  little  mound  of  earth  that  covers  the  form  of 
some  one  loved  and  lost,  has  forgotten  the  crushing  agony  that 
comes  when  the  first  full  realization  that  all  is  over  —  that  hope 
—  prayer  —  lamentation  —  is  of  no  avail,  for  the  "grave  giveth 
not  up  its  dead,  until  such  time  as  the  mortal  shall  put  on  im- 

The  dark  hearse,  with  its  nodding  plumes,  bears  the  rich  man 
from  his  door,  to  a  grave  whose  proud  monument  shall  comme- 
morate his  life,  be  its  deeds  good  or  evil.  Perhaps  an  almost 
endless  train  of  costly  equipages  follow ;  and  there  are  congre- 
gated many  who  seem  to  weep,  but  I  question  if  in  all  that  splen- 
dour there  lingers  half  the  love,  or  half  the  regret,  which  was 
felt  for  the  little  one  whose  mournful  burial  we  have  recorded ; 
or  if  the  grave,  with  its  richly  wrought  pile  of  sculptured  marble, 
be  as  often  visited,  and  wept  over,  as  was  the  low,  grassy  mound, 
marked  only  by  a  clambering  rose-tree,  whose  pure  petals,  as  they 

204  THE    NEW   ENGLAND 

floated  from  their  stems,  were  symbols  of  the  life  and  death  of 
the  village  favourite. 

It  was  many  days  before  the  household  of  Deacon  Gordon  re- 
gained anything  like  serenity ;  but  the  business  of  life  must  go 
on,  come  <what  may,  and  in  the  petty  detail  of  domestic  cares, 
the  keenness  of  grief  is  worn  away,  and  a  mournful  pleasure 
mingles  with  memories  of  the  past.  It  was  in  this  case  as  in  all 
others;  gradually  it  became  less  painful  to  see  everywhere 
around  traces  of  the  child  and  the  sister ;  they  could  talk  of  her 
with  calmness,  and  recall  the  many  pleasant  little  traits  of  cha- 
racter which  she  had  even  at  so  early  an  age  exhibited.  The 
robin  that  she  had  fed  daily,  came  still  at  her  brother's  call  to 
peck  daintily  at  the  grain  which  he  threw  toward  it.  The  pet 
kitten  gambolled  upon  the  sunny  porch,  or  peered  with  curious 
face  over  the  deep  well,  as  if  studying  her  own  reflection,  un- 
conscious that  the  one  who  had  so  loved  to  watch  her  ceaseless 
play  was  gone  for  ever.  Even  Mary  could  smile  at  its  saucy 
ways;  and  though  the  memory  of  her  sister  was  ever  present, 
she  could  converse  without  shedding  tears,  of  her  gentleness  and 
truth,  thanking  God  she  had  been  taken  from  evil  to  come. 

Then  she  felt  doubly  attached  to  her  mother.  She  was  now 
the  only  daughter;  and  though  Mrs.  Gordon  seemed  perfectly 
resigned,  and  even  cheerful,  she  knew  that  many  lonely  and  soli- 
tary hours  would  come  when  Mary  was  once  more  away.  And 
James  had  so  much  to  tell,  for  he,  too,  was  home  for  a  few  days 
of  the  spring  vacation,  the  rest  being  passed  in  the  poor  student's 
usual  employment — school  teaching.  They  would  wander  away 
in  the  pleasant  afternoon  to  the  depths  of  the  cool  green  wood, 
and  sit  with  the  shadows  playing  about  them,  and  the  wind  whis- 
pering mystic  prophecies  as  it  wandered  by,  recalling  for  each 

FACTORY    GIRL.  205 

other  the  incidents  of  the  past  year,  and  speculating  with  the 
hopefulness  of  eager  youth,  on  the  dim  and  unknown  future. 

A  new  friend  sometimes  joined  them  in  their  woodland  walks. 
The  young  pastor  of  the  village  church,  who  had  sorrowed  with 
them  at  their  sister's  death,  and  who,  having  made  Mary's  ac- 
quaintance in  a  time  of  deep  affliction,  felt  more  drawn  toward 
her  than  if  he  had  known  her  happy  and  cheerful  for  many 
years.  Somehow  they  became  less  and  less  restrained  in  his 
presence,  and  at  last  James  confided  to  him  his  hopes  and  pros- 
pects. Mary  was  not  by  when  the  disclosure  was  made,  or  she 
would  have  blushed  at  her  brother's  enthusiastic  praise  of  the 
unwavering  self-denial  which  had  led  her  away  from  home  and 
friends,  and  made  her  youth  a  season  "of  toil  and  endeavour;" 
and  she  might  have  wondered  why  tears  came  to  the  eyes  of  their 
friend  while  he  listened;  and  why  he  so  earnestly  besought 
James  to  improve  to  the  utmost  the  advantages  thus  put  before 
him.  Allan  Loring  was  alone  in  the  world,  and  almost  a  stranger 
to  the  people  of  his  charge,  for  he  had  been  scarce  a  twelvemonth 
among  them.  Of  a  proud  and  somewhat  haughty  family,  and 
prejudiced  by  education,  he  had  in  early  youth  looked  upon 
labour  of  the  hands  as  a  kind  of  degradation ;  but  the  meek  and 
humble  faith  which  he  taught,  and  which  had  chastened  his 
spirit,  made  him  now  fully  appreciate  the  loving  and  faithful 
heart,  which  Mary  in  every  act  exhibited,  and  he  looked  upon 
her  with  renewed  interest  when  next  they  met. 

Again  the  time  drew  near  when  Mary  was  to  leave  her  home. 
A  month  had  passed  of  mingled  shadow  and  sunshine  within 
those  dear  walls.  It  was  hard  to  part  with  her  mother,  who 
seemed  to  cling  more  fondly  than  ever  to  her  noble-minded 
daughter;  her  father  and  Stephen,  each  in  their  blunt,  honest 

206  THE    N  EWE  N  GLAND 

way,  expressed  their  sorrow  that  the  time  of  her  departure  was 
eo  near  at  hand;  but  still,  Mary  did  not  waver  in  her  determi- 
nation, though  a  word  from  her  mother  would  have  changed  the 
whole  colour  of  her  plans.  That  mother  saw  that  for  her  chil- 
dren's sake  it  was  best  that  they  should  part  again  for  a  season — 
and  she  stifled  the  wish  to  have  them  remain  by  her  side.  So 
Mary  went  forth  into  the  world  once  more  with  a  stronger  and 
bolder  spirit,  to  brave  alike  the  sneers  and  the  temptations  which 
might  there  beset  her  pathway ;  with  the  blessings  of  her  parents, 
the  thanks  of  an  idolized  brother,  and  "a  conscience  void  of 
offence,"  she  could  but  be  calmly  happy,  even  though  surrounded 
by  circumstances  which  often  jarred  upon  her  pure  and  delicate 
nature,  and  which  would  have  crushed  one  less  hopeful  of  future 
peace  and  conscious  present  rectitude. 

Beside,  Mr.  Loring  had  seemed,  she  knew  not  why,  to  take  a 
deep  interest  in  all  her  movements.  He  had  begged  permission, 
at  parting,  to  write  to  her  occasionally ;  and  his  letters,  full  of 
friendly  advice  and  enquiry,  became  a  great  and  increasing  source 
of  pleasure.  There  was  nothing  in  them  that  a  kind  brother 
might  not  have  addressed  to  a  young  and  gentle  sister;  and 
Mary's  replies  were  dictated  in  the  same  spirit  of  candour  and 
esteem.  So  gradually  her  simple  and  child-like  character  was 
unfolded  to  her  new  friend,  who  encouraged  all  that  was  noble, 
and  strove  to  check  each  lighter  and  vainer  feeling  which  sprang 
up  in  her  heart.  At  times  she  wondered  why  he  should  seem  in- 
terested in  her  welfare ;  but  gradually  she  ceased  to  wonder  why 
he  wrote,  so  that  his  letters  did  not  fail  to  reach  her.  Still,  noisy 
and  fatiguing  labour  claimed  her  daily  care ;  but  in  the  long  quiet 
evenings  she  found  time  for  study  and  reflection ;  thus  becoming, 
even  in  that  rude  school,  "  a  perfect  woman,  nobly  planned." 

FACTORY    GIRL.  207 



RE  you  fond  of  tableaux,  dear  readers  ?  If  so, 
let  me  finish  my  simple  recital  by  placing  before 
you  two  scenes  in  the  life  of  our  little  heroine — 
something  after  the  fashion  of  dissolving  views. 
Five  years  had  passed  since  first  we  looked  in  upon  that  quiet 
country  home.  Five  years  of  cheerful  toil — of  mingled  trial — • 
despondency  and  hope  to  those  who  then  gathered  around  that 
blazing  hearth.  One,  as  we  have  seen,  had  been  taken  to  a 
higher  mansion  —  others  had  gone  forth  into  the  world,  strong 
only  in  noble  hearts,  firm  in  the  path  of  rectitude.  We  have 
witnessed  the  commencement  of  the  trial,  followed  in  part  its 
progress — and  now  let  us  look  to  its  end.  No,  not  the  end — for 
life  is  ever  a  struggle  —  there  may  be  a  cessation  of  care  for  a 
season,  but  till  the  weary  journey  be  accomplished,  who  shall  say 
that  all  danger  is  passed  ? 

It  was  the  annual  examination  at  one  of  our  largest  New  Eng- 
land female  schools.  The  pretty  seminary-building  gleamed 
through  the  clustering  trees  that  lovingly  encircled  it,  and  its 
snowy  pillars  and  porticoes — vine-wreathed  by  fairy  fingers — gave 
it  an  air  of  lightness  and  grace  which  village  architecture  rarely 
shows.  Now  the  shaded  path  which  led  to  its  entrance  was 
thronged,  as  group  after  group  pressed  upward.  Carriages,  from 
the  simple  "  Rockaway"  to  equipages  glittering  with  richly 
plated  harness,  and  drawn  by  fiery,  impatient  steeds,  stood  thickly 

203  THE    NEW    ENGLAND 

around.  It  was  the  festival-day  of  the  village,  and  each  cottage 
was  filled  to  overflowing  —  for  strangers  from  all  parts  of  the 
Union  were  come  to  witness  the  delid  of  the  sister,  the  daughter, 
or  the  friend. 

Many  were  the  bright  eyes  that  scarcely  closed  in  sleep  the 
night  preceding  this  eventful  anniversary.  There  was  so  much 
to  hope  —  so  much  to  fear.  "If  I  should  fail,"  was  repeated 
again  and  again ;  and  their  hearts  throbbed  wildly  as  the  signal- 
bell  was  heard,  which  called  them  to  pass  the  dread  ordeal.  Such 
a  display  of  beauty — genuine,  unadorned  beauty — rarely  greets 
the  eye  of  man.  More  than  a  hundred  young  girls,  from  timid 
fifteen  to  more  assured  one-and-twenty,  robed  in  pure  white,  with 
tresses  untortured  by  the  prevailing  mode,  decorated  only  by 
wreaths  of  delicate  wild  flowers,  or  the  rich  coral  berry  of  the 
ground  ivy,  shaded  by  its  own  dark-green  leaves.  A  simple  sash 
bound  each  rounded  form,  and  a  knot  of  the  same  fastened  the 
spotless  dress  about  the  throat.  Then  excitement  flushed  the 
cheeks  which  the  mountain  air  had  already  tinged  with  the  glow 
of  health,  and  made  bright  eyes  still  brighter  as  they  rested  on 
familiar  faces. 

The  exercises  ef  the  day  went  on,  and  yet  those  who  listened 
and  those  who  spoke  did  not  weary.  The  young  students  had 
won  all  honour  to  themselves  and  their  teachers;  and  as  the 
shadows  lengthened  in  the  grove  around  them,  but  one  class  re- 
mained to  be  approved  or  censured. 

"  Now  sister — there  !  "  exclaimed  a  manly-looking  Virginian, 
as  the  graduates  came  forward  to  the  platform.  "  Who  is  that 
young  lady  at  their  head.  I  have  tried  all  day  to  find  some  one 
that  knew  her,  but  she  seems  a  stranger  to  all." 

"  With  her  hair  in  one  plain  braid,  and  large,  full  eyes  ?     Oh, 

FACTORY    GIRL.  209 

that  is  Miss  Gordon ;  she  has  the  valedictory,  though  why,  I  'm 
sure  I  don't  know,  for  she  has  been  in  school  but  about  a  year, 
and  Jenny  Dowling,  my  room-mate,  has  gone  through  the  whole 
course.  Miss  Gordon  entered  two  years  in  advance.  She  was  a 
factory  girl,  brother — just  think  of  that ;  and  worked  in  Lowell 
three  or  four  years.  Miss  Harrison  wished  me  to  room  with  her 
this  term — but  not  I  j  there  is  too  much  Howard  spirit  in  me  to 
associate  with  one  no  better  than  a  servant-girl.  Some  of  them 
seem  to  like  her  though ;  and  as  for  the  teachers,  they  are  quite 
carried  away  with  her.  Miss  Harrison  had  the  impertinence  to 
say  to  me  only  last  week,  that  I  would  do  well  to  take  pattern  by 
her.  Not  in  dress,  I  hope — "  and  the  young  girl's  lip  curled, 
as  she  contrasted  her  own  richly  embroidered  robe  with  the  sim- 
ple muslin  which  Mary  Gordon  wore. 

Clayton  Howard  had  not  attended  to  half  that  his  sister  said, 
for  with  low  and  earnest  voice  Mary  had  commenced  reading  the 
farewell  address  which  she,  as  head  of  her  class,  had  been  chosen 
to  prepare  in  its  behalf;  and  his  eyes  were  riveted  on  the  timid 
but  graceful  girl.  We  have  never  spoken  of  our  heroine's  per- 
sonal attractions,  choosing  first  to  display,  if  possible,  the  beauty 
of  heart  and  character  which  her  humble  life  exhibited.  The 
young  Southerner  thought,  as  he  eagerly  listened,  that  the  flat- 
tered and  richly-attired  belle  of  the  fashionable  watering-place  he 
had  just  left,  was  not  half  as  worthy  of  the  homage  which  she 
received,  as  was  this  lowly  maiden.  If  beauty  consists  in  regu- 
larity of  features,  Mary  would  have  little  in  the  eye  of  those  who 
dwell  upon  outline  alone ;  but  there  was  a  high  intelligence 
beaming  from  her  full,  dark  eyes,  a  sweet  smile  ever  playing 
about  the  small,  exquisitely-formed  mouth ;  while  soft,  rich  hair, 

210  THE    NEW    ENGLAND 

smoothly  braided  back,  added  not  a  little  to  perfect  the  contour 
of  her  queenly  head. 

Her  voice  grew  tremulous  with  deep  feeling  as  she  proceeded, 
her  eyes  were  shaded  by  gathering  tears,  and  when,  in  behalf  of 
those  who  were  about  to  leave  this  sheltered  nook,  she  bade 
farewell  to  the  companions  whose  love  and  sympathy  had  madn 
their  school-days  pleasant ;  the  teachers  who  had  been  their 
friends  as  well  as  guides ;  scarce  one  in  that  crowded  hall  deemed 
it  weakness  to  weep  with  those  now  parting.  Never  more  could 
those  cherished  friends  meet  again ;  they  were  going  forth,  each 
on  a  separate  mission,  and  though  in  after  years  greetings  might 
pass  between  them,  the  heart  would  be  utterly  changed.  The 
unreserved  confidence,  the  warm  affection  of  girlhood,  passes  for 
ever  away,  when  rude  contact  with  the  world  has  chilled  trust 
and  childlike  faith.  And  they  knew  this,  though  it  was  felt 
more  fully  in  after  years. 

But  tears  were  dried,  as  the  enthusiasm  which  lighted  the  face 
of  the  reader — as  her  topic  turned  to  their  future  life — was  com- 
municated to  those  who  listened.  She  spoke  to  her  classmates 
of  the  duties  which  devolved  on  them  as  women ;  of  the  strength 
which  they  should  gather  in  life's  sunshine,  for  the  storm  and 
the  trial  which  would  come.  That  their  part  was  to  shed  a  hal- 
lowed but  unseen  influence  over  its  strife  and  discord — 

"  Sitting  by  the  fireside  of  the  heart, 

Feeding  its  flames." 

"  In  that  stillness  which  best  becomes  a  woman, 
Calm  and  holy." 

And  when  she  ceased,  and  the  gathered  crowd  turned  slowly 
from  the  threshold,  many  hearts  —  beating  in  proud  and  manly 
bosoms  —  felt  stronger  and  purer  for  the  words  they  had  that 

FACTORY    GIRL.  211 

hour  listened  to;  from  one  who,  young  as  she  was,  had  learned  to 
think  and  to  act  with  a  sound  judgment  and  bold  independence 
in  the  cause  of  truth,  which  shamed  them  in  their  vacillation. 

Young  Howard  was  leaning  behind  a  vine-wreathed  pillar,  to 
watch  the  one  in  whom  he  had  that  day  become  strangely  inter- 
ested. His  heart  beat  fast  as  she  approached  his  hiding-place, 
and  then  sunk  within  him,  as  he  noted  the  warm  blush  which 
stole  over  her  face,  as  two  gentlemen,  whom  he  had  not  before 
noticed,  came  to  greet  her. 

"  Dear  sister,"  said  one,  kissing  her  burning  cheek,  "  have  I 
not  reason  to  be  proud  of  you?" 

The  other,  older  by  ten  years  than  the  first  speaker,  grasped 
the  hand  which  she  timidly  extended  to  him,  and  whispered,  "  I, 
too,  am  proud  of  my  future  wife." 

Howard  did  not  hear  the  words,  but  the  look  which  accompa- 
nied that  warm  pressure  of  the  hand  did  not  escape  him.  It 
destroyed  at  once  hopes  which  he  had  not  dreamed  before  were 
fast  rising  in  his  breast,  and  he  turned  almost  sadly  away  from 
that  happy  group  to  join  his  sister. 

"  See,"  said  the  young  girl,  as  she  took  his  arm,  "  there  is 
Mr.  Loring,  one  of  the  finest-looking  men  I  know  of,  and  belongs 
to  as  proud  a  family  as  any  in  Boston,  yet  he  is  going  to  throw 
himself  away  on  Mary  Gordon.  To  be  sure  he  is  only  a  poor 
country  clergyman,  but  he  might  do  better  if  he  chose,  I'm  sure." 

Her  brother  thought  that  was  hardly  possible,  though  he  did 
not  say  so ;  neither  did  he  add — lest  he  should  vex  his  foolishly 
aristocratic  sister — that  but  for  Mr.  Loring  the  chances  were  that 
she  would  be  called  upon,  so  far  as  his  inclinations  were  con- 
cerned, to  receive  Miss  Gordon,  not  as  a  room-mate,  but  as  a 
sister,  before  the  year  was  ended. 

212  THE    NEW    ENGLAND 



STRANGER  would  have  asked  the  reason 
of  the  commotion  in  the  village,  though  every 
one  of  its  inhabitants,  from  highest  to  lowest, 
knew  that  it  was  the  morning  of  their  pastor's 
bridal.  None,  not  even  the  oldest  and  gravest  of  the  community, 
wondered,  or  shook  their  heads  in  disapprobation  of  the  choice. 
They  had  known  Mary  Gordon  from  her  earliest  childhood  — 
they  saw  her  now  an  earnest  and  thoughtful  woman,  with  a  heart 
to  plan  kind  and  charitable  deeds,  and  a  hand  that  did  not  pause 
in  their  execution.  They  knew,  moreover,  that  for  two  years 
she  had  refused  to  take  new  vows  upon  herself,  because  she  felt 
that  her  mother  needed  her  care ;  but  now  that  health  once  more 
reigned  in  the  good  deacon's  dwelling,  she  was  this  day  to  become 
a  wife,  and  leave  her  father's  roof,  for  a  new  home  and  more 
extended  duty. 

Again  we  look  upon  the  village  church,  but  it  is  no  mournful 
procession  that  passes  up  its  shaded  aisles.  There  are  white- 
robed  maidens  thronging  around,  and  men  with  sun-burned  faces. 
Children,  too,  scarce  large  enough  to  grasp  the  flowers  which  they 
tear  from  the  shrubs  that  climb  to  the  very  windows  of  the  sanc- 
tuary; and  through  the  crowd  comes  the  bridal  train.  Mary 
Gordon,  leaning  upon  the  arm  of  her  betrothed,  is  more  beautiful 
than  ever,  for  a  quiet  dignity  is  now  added  to  the  grace  that  ever 

FACTORY    GIRL.  213 

marked  her  footsteps ;  and  he,  in  the  pride  of  his  manhood,  looks 
v,'ith  tenderness  upon  her. 

The  deacon  is  there,  with  his  heavy  good-natured  face,  lighted 
by  an  expression  of  profound  content;  and  his  wife  is  by  his 
side,  looking  less  calm  and  placid  than  usual,  though  she  is  very 
happy.  It  may  be  that  she  fears  for  her  daughter's  future 
welfare,  though  that  can  scarcely  be  when  the  dearest  wish  of  her 
heart  is  about  to  be  fulfilled ;  or,  perhaps,  as  her  eye  wanders 
from  the  gay  group  around  her,  it  rests  upon  a  little  grassy  mound 
not  far  away,  and  she  is  thinking  of  one  who  would  have  been 
the  fairest  and  the  best  beloved  of  all. 

Stephen  seemed  to  feel  a  little  out  of  place,  as  he  stood  there 
with  a  gay,  laughter-loving  maiden  clinging  to  his  arm ;  but  the 
happiest  of  all,  if  we  may  judge  from  the  exterior,  was  James ; 
arrived  but  the  night  before,  after  an  absence  of  nearly  two  years. 
He  had  just  been  admitted  to  the  bar;  and  Mr.  Hall,  who  was 
present  at  the  examination,  said  it  was  rare  to  meet  with  a  young 
man  of  so  much  promise,  and  knowing  his  untiring  industry,  he 
had  little  doubt  of  his  success  in  after  life.  So  James  —  now  a 
manly-looking  fellow  of  three-and-twenty  —  was,  after  the  bride, 
the  observed  of  all  observers ;  and  not  a  few  of  the  bride's  white- 
robed  attendants  put  on  their  most  witching  smile  when  he 
addressed  them. 

Despite  of  all  the  sunshine  and  festivity  at  a  bridal,  there  is 
to  me  more  of  solemnity,  almost  sadness,  in  the  scene  than  in 
any  other  we  are  called  upon  to  witness,  save  that  mournful 
rite,  when  dust  is  returned  to  dust.  There  is  a  young  and  often 
thoughtless  maiden,  taking  upon  herself  vows  which  but  few 
understand,  in  the  depth  of  their  import,  vows  lasting  as  life, 
aud  on  the  full  performance  of  which  depends  in  a  great  measure, 

214  THE    NEW   ENGLAND 

the  joy  or  misery  of  her  future  years.  Then,  too,  in  her  trust 
and  innocence,  she  does  not  dream  that  change  can  come,  that 
the  loved  one  will  ever  be  less  considerate,  less  tender,  than 
at  the  .present  hour.  True,  she  has  been  told  that  it  may  be  so — 
but  the  thought  is  not  harboured  for  an  instant.  "  He  never 
could  speak  coldly  or  unkindly  to  me,"  she  murmurs,  as  eyes 
beaming  with  deep  affection  meet  her  own.  Then,  too,  the  proud 
man  that  stands  beside  her,  may  be  but  taking  that  gentle  flower 
to  his  bosom,  to  cast  it  aside  when  its  perfume  shall  have  become 
less  grateful  —  leaving  it  crushed  and  faded;  or,  worse  still  — 
and  still  more  improbable,  though  it  is  sometimes  so — there  may 
be  poison  lurking  in  the  seemingly  pure  blossom,  that  will  sting 
and  embitter  his  future  life.  Oh,  that  woman  should  ever  prove 
false  to  the  vow  of  her  girlhood ! 

All  these  thoughts,  I  say,  and  many  more  scarcely  less  sorrow- 
ful, come  to  my  mind  when  I  look  upon  a  bridal;  and  tears  will 
start,  unbidden  it  is  true,  when  the  faces  of  those  around  are 
radiant  with  smiles.  But  perhaps  few  have  learned  with  me  the 
truthful  lesson  of  the  poet  — 

"  Hope's  gayest  wreaths  are  made  of  earthly  flowers — 
Things  that  are  made  to  fade,  and  fade  away, 
Ere  they  have  blossomed  for  a  few  short  hours." 

How  could  I  call  up  such  a  train  of  sombre  thought  when 
speaking  of  Mary  Gordon's  marriage  ?  None  doubted  her  hus- 
band's truth,  her  own  deep  devotion,  as  they  crowded  around 
when  the  simple  rite  was  ended  to  congratulate  them,  and  breathe 
a  fervent  wish  that  their  joy  might  increase  as  the  years  of  their 
life  rolled  onward.  They  went  forth  from  that  quiet  church  with 
new  and  strange  feelings  springing  up,  and  as  Mary  looked  upon 
the  throng  who  still  reiterated  their  friendly  wishes,  she  felt  an 

FACTORY    GIRL.  215 

inward  consciousness  that  God  had  blessed  and  sustained  her 
through  those  years  of  trial  and  probation. 

"  Who  would  have  thought  that  the  deacon's  Mary  would  ever 
have  grown  up  such  a  fine  woman  ?"  said  Aunty  Gould,  as  she 
wiped  her  spectacles  upon  the  corner  of  her  new  gingham  apron. 
"  The  deacon  himself  ain't  got  much  spent  in  him,  and  as  for 
Miss  Gordon,  I  don't  believe  she  ever  whipped  one  of  them 
children  in  her  life.  She  always  let  'em  have  their  own  way  a 
great  deal  too  much  to  suit  me.  Jest  think  of  her  letting  Mary 
go  off  to  Lowell  in  the  midst  of  that  city  of  iniquity,  and  stay 
three  or  four  years,  jest  because  James  must  be  college  lamed. 
As  if  it  warn't  as  respectable  to  stay  to  home  and  be  a  farmer, 
as  his  father  and  his  grandfather  was  before  him.  I  have  n't 
much  'pinion  of  him,  but  Stephen  Gordon  is  going  to  make  the 
man.  Steddy  and  industrious  a' most  as  the  deacon  himself." 

So  we  see  the  differences  of  opinion  which  exist  in  the  narrow- 
est community ;  for  Mrs.  Lane,  as  she  turned  toward  her  own 
bright  home,  said  to  her  husband  that  Mary  Gordon  was  a  pattern 
to  the  young  girls  now  growing  up  in  the  village.  But  for  her 
honest  independence  and  hardihood  in  braving  the  opinion  of  the 
world,  her  family  might  have  been  living  without  education,  and 
without  refinement.  Now  she  had  won  for  herself  the  love  of  a 
noble  heart — could  see  her  brother  successful  through  her  efforts, 
and  knew  that  their  parents  were  happy  in  feeling  that  this  was 
so.  "  She  has  been  the  sun  of  that  household,"  replied  the  hus- 
band, "  and  I  doubt  not  will  ever  be  the  happiness  of  her  own." 

They  were  sitting  alone — the  newly-made  husband  and  wife — 
on  the  evening  of  their  marriage-day.  They  were  in  their  home, 
which  was  henceforth -to  be  the  scene  of  all  their  love  and  labours. 
The  last  kind  friend  had  gone,  and  for  the  first  time  that  day 


they  could  feel  the  calm,  unclouded  serenity  which  the  end  of  a 
long  and  often  wearisome  toil  had  brought. 

The  moonlight  trembled  through  the  shaded  casement,  and 
surrounded  as  with  a  halo  the  sweet,  serious  face  that  looked  out 
upon  the  night ;  and  far  around,  even  to  the  rugged  mountains 
that  rose  as  sentinels  over  the  green  valley,  earth  and  air  were 
bathed  in  that  pure  and  tender  radiance.  The  flowering  shrubs 
that  twined  about  the  little  porch  seemed  to  give  forth  a  more 
delicious  perfume  than  when  scorched  by  the  sun's  warm  kiss. 
The  neighbouring  orchards,  almost  bending  beneath  the  clusters 
of  buds  and  blossoms  that  covered  the  green  boughs,  waved 
gently  in  the  light  breeze  that  showered  the  sunny  petals  as  it 
passed  upon  the  freshly  springing  grass  beneath.  The  low  cry 
of  the  whippo-wil  came  now  and  then  from  a  far-off  wood ;  save 
that,  and  the  rustle  of  the  vines  clinging  about  the  casement,  no 
sound  broke  the  sabbath-like  repose.  The  church  —  scarce  a 
stone's  throw  from  the  little  parsonage — stood  boldly  relieved  by 
the  dark  trees  which  rose  beside  it;  and  not  far  away — not  too 
far  for  them  to  see  by  day  the  loved  forms  of  its  inmates — they 
could  distinguish  the  sloping  roofs  and  brown  walls  of  Mary's 
early  home. 

The  young  bride  turned  from  the  scene  without,  and  when  she 
looked  up  into  her  husband's  face  he  saw  that  her  eyes  were 
filled  with  tears. 

"  Are  you  not  happy,  my  Mary  ? "  said  he,  as  he  drew  her 
more  closely  to  his  bosom. 

"  Happy !  oh,  only  too  happy ! "  was  the  murmured  response, 
as  he  kissed  the  tears  away.  "  I  was  but  thinking  of  my  past 
life ;  how  strange  it  seems  that  I  should  have  been  so  prompted, 
so  guided  through  all !  Then,  stranger  than  the  rest,  that  you 

FACTORY    GIRL.  217 

should  love  one  so  humble,  so  ignorant  as  myself.  I  may  tell 
you  now — now  that  I  am  your  own  true  wife,  how  your  love  has 
been  the  happiness  of  many  years.  Ere  I  dared  to  hope  that 
your  letters  breathed  more  than  a  friendly  interest - —  and  believe 
me  I  would  not  indulge  the  thought  for  an  instant  until  you  had 
given  me  the  right  so  to  do  —  though  the  wish  would  for  an 
instant  flit  across  my  mind — I  knew  that  one  less  wise,  less  noble 
than  yourself  would  never  gain  the  deep  affection  of  my  heart. 
I  almost  felt  that  I  could  live  through  life  without  dearer  ties,  if 
you  would  always  watch  my  path  with  interest,  awarding,  as 
then,  praise  and  blame." 

"  But,  strange  as  it  may  seem,  you  did  love  me  through  all, 
deeply,  devotedly.  Oh,  what  is  there  in  me  to  deserve  such 
affection !  and  when  I  read  those  blessed  words  — '  I  love  you, 
Mary,  have  loved  you  from  an  early  period  of  our  correspond- 
ence,' it  seemed  as  if  my  heart  were  breaking  with  the  excess 
of  wild  happiness  which  rushed  like  a  flood  upon  it.  How  could 
you  love  me?  what  was  there  in  me  to  create  such  an 

Allan  Loring  thought  that  the  wife  was  far  more  beautiful 
than  the  maiden,  as  she  stood  encircled  by  his  arms,  gazing  with 
deep  earnestness,  as  if  she  would  read  his  very  soul. 

"  I  cannot  tell  you  all  there  is  in  you  to  love  and  admire," 
said  he,  tenderly,  "  and,  indeed,  my  little  wife  would  blush  too 
deeply  at  a  recital  of  her  own  merits  and  graces.  But  this  I  now 
recall,  that  the  first  emotion  of  deep  interest  which  I  felt  for  you, 
arose  as  I  listened  to  your  brother's  recital  of  your  wonderful 
self-denial,  and  persevering  effort  for  his  sake.  I  saw,  young  as 
you  were,  the  germ  of  a  high  and  noble  nature,  best  developed, 

219  THE    NEW   EN  GLAND 

believe  me,  in  the  rough  and  untoward  circumstances  by  which 
you  were  surrounded.  I  wrote  to  you  at  first,  thinking,  perhaps, 
to  aid  you  in  the  struggle  for  knowledge  and  truth ;  and  as  your 
mind  and  heart  were  laid  open  before  me,  how  could  I  help  loving 
the  guileless  sincerity  which  every  act  exhibited  ? 

I  knew  that  the  good  sister,  the  affectionate  child,  could  not 
but  make  a  true  and  gentle  wife.  So  I  thought  myself  fortunate, 
beyond  my  own  hopes  even,  when  I  found  you  could  grant  me 
the  only  boon  I  asked — a  deep  and  steadfast  affection." 

What  heart  is  there  that  would  not  have  been  satisfied  with 
such  praise?  and  who,  witnessing  the  calm  spirit  of  content 
which  animated  both  the  husband  and  the  wife,  could  have  pro- 
phesied evil  as  the  result  of  such  a  union. 

We  might  follow  our  heroine  still  farther — might  show  her  to 
you  as  the  companion  and  assistant  in  her  husband's  labours  of 
love,  as  he  fulfilled  the  high  mission  to  which  he  had  been  ap- 
pointed— as  the  mother,  training  her  little  ones  to  usefulness  and 
honour.  But  we  will  leave  her  now,  assured  that  whatever  storms 
may  cloud  the  unshadowed  morn  of  her  wedded  life  —  and  all 
know  that  in  this  existence  no  home,  however  lofty  or  lowly,  is 
exempt  from  suffering  and  trial  —  she  bore  a  talisman  to  pass 
through  all  unscathed  —  strength,  gained  by  patient  endurance, 
and  the  knowledge  of  duties  rightly  performed. 

It  may  be,  dear  lady  —  you  who  are  now  glancing  idly  over 
these  pages  —  that  you  are  surrounded  by  every  luxury  wealth 
can  command.  You  are  lounging,  perhaps,  upon  a  softly  cush- 
ioned divan,  with  tiny,  slippered  feet  half  buried  in  the  glowing 
carpet.  There  are  brilliants  blazing  upon  the  delicate  hand  which 
shields  your  face  from  the  warm  fire-light ;  as  you  glance  around, 

FACTORY    GIRL.  219 

a  costly  mirror  reveals  at  full  length  your  graceful  and  yielding 

"  I  have  no  interest  in  such  as  these,"  you  say,  as  the  simple 
narrative  is  ended. 

I  pray,  in  truth,  that  you  may  never  learn  the  harsh  lessons  of 
adversity;  but  remember,  as  you  enjoy  the  elegancies  of  a  lux- 
urious home,  that  change  comes  to  all  when  least  expected.  And 
if  misfortune  should  not  spare  even  one  so  young  and  so  beauti- 
ful ;  if  poverty  or  desolation  overshadow  the  household,  it  may 
be  your  part  to  sustain  and  to  strengthen,  not  only  by  words,  but 
by  deeds.  G-od  shield  you,  dear  lady ;  but  if  the  storm  come, 
remember  that  honest  labour  elevates,  rather  than  degrades;  and 
those  whose  opinions  are  of  value  will  not  hesitate  to  confirm  the 
truth  of  the  moral. 


-   THE  proudest  motto  for  the  young! 

Write  it  in  lines  of    gold 
Upon  thy  heart,  and  in  thy  mind 

The  stirring  words  enfold. 
And  in  misfortune's  dreary  hour. 

Or  fortune's  prosperous  gale, 
'Twill  have  a  holy,  cheering  power, 

"There's  no  such  word  as  fail." 

The  Sailor,  on  the  stormy  sea, 

May  sigh  for  distant  land; 
And  free  and  fearless  though  he  be, 

Would  they  were  near  the  strand. 
But  when  the  storm  on  angry  wings 

Bears  lightning,  sleet,  and  hail, 
He  climbs  the  slippery  mast,  and  sings 

"  There 's  no  such  word  as  fail." 

The  wearied  Student,  bending  o'er 

The  tomes  of  other  days, 
And  dwelling  on  their  magic  lore, 

For  inspiration  prays. 
And  though  with  toil  his  brain  is  weak, 

His  brow  is  deadly  pale, 
The  language  of  his  heart  will  speak — 

"  There  's  no  such  word  as  fail." 


"  THERE »S  NO  SUCH' WORD  AS  FAIL."  221 

The  wily  Statesman  bends  his  kuee 

Before  fame's  glittering  shrine, 
And  would  an  humble  suppliant  be 

To  Genius  so  divine. 
Yet,  though  his  progress  is  full  slow, 

And  enemies  may  rail; 
He  thinks  at  last  the  world  to  show 

"There's  no  such  word  as  fail." 

The  Soldier  on  the  battle  plain, 

When  thirsting  to  be  free, 
And  throw  aside  a  tyrant's  chain, 

Says — "  On  for  Liberty ! 
Our  households,  and  our  native  land ! 

We  must,  we  will  prevail ! 
Then  foot  to  foot,  and  hand  to  hand, 
"'There's  no  such  word  as  fail!'" 

The  child  of  God,  though  oft  beset 

By  foes  without  —  within — 
These  precious  words  will  ne'er  forget, 

Amid  their  dreadful  din; 
But  upward  looks,  with  eye  of  faith, 

Armed  with  the  Christian's  mail, 
And  in  the  hottest  conflict  saith — 

"There's  no  such  word  as  fail!" 



W/|^|  HE  village  was  small,  and  the  church  was  not  a 
'  cathedral,  but  a  quiet,  unostentatious  stone  chapel, 
^  f  half  covered  by  climbing  plants,  and  a  forest  of 
dark  trees  grew  around  it.  —  They  shaded  the  in- 
terior so  completely  in  the  summer  afternoons,  that  the  figure  of 
the  altar-piece  —  painted,  the  villagers  averred,  by  Albrecht 
Diirer  —  could  scarcely  be  distinguished,  and  rested  upon  the 
broad  canvass  a  mass  of  shadowy  outlines. 

A  quaint  carved  belfry  rose  above  the  trees,  and  in  the  bright 
dawn  of  the  Sabbath,  a  chime  sweet  and  holy  floated  from  it, 
calling  the  villagers  to  their  devotions;  but  the  bell  whose  iron 
tongue  gave  forth  that  chime,  was  not  the  bell  that  my  story 
speaks  of — there  was  another,  long  before  that  was  cast,  that  had 
hung  for  many  years,  perhaps  a  century,  in  the  same  place.  But 
now  it  is  no  longer  elevated,  its  tongue  is  mute,  for  it  lies  upon 
the  ground  at  the  foot  of  the  church  tower,  broken  and  bruised. 
It  is  half  buried  in  the  rich  mould,  and  there  are  green  stains 
creeping  over  it,  eating  into  its  iron  heart ;  no  one  heeds  it  now? 
for  those  who  had  brought  it  there  are  sleeping  coldly  and  silently 

*  This  little  story  has  enjoyed  a  wide  popularity  under  the  dis- 
guise of  a  "  Translation  from  the  German,  by  Clara  Cushman"  —  and 
we  do  our  fair  friend,  the  real  author,  only  a  simple  act  of  justice  by 
divesting  it  of  its  foreign  appearance,  and  presenting  it  in  its  true  cha- 
racter. It  was  a  conceit  of  hers  which  sent  it  forth  anonymously  and 
"  from  the  German,"  of  which  it  is  only  a  felicitous  imitation — illustrating 
the  flexibility  of  our  noble  Anglo  Saxon  tongue. — So.  Literary  Gazette. 



all  around  in  the  church-yard.  The  shadow  of  those  dark  trees 
rests  on  many  graves. 

How  came  the  old  bell  to  be  thus  neglected  ?  A  new  gene- 
ration arose — "  See/'  they  said,  "  the  church  where  our  parents 
worshipped  falls  to  decay.  Its  tower  crumbles  to  dust.  The  bell 
has  lost  its  silver  tone — it  sends  forth  a  harsh  disonance.  We  will 
have  a  new  tower,  and  another  bell  shall  call  us  to  our  worship." 

So  the  old  belfry  was  destroyed,  and  the  old  bell  laid  at  the 
foundation ;  it  was  grieved  at  the  cruel  sentence,  but  it  scorned 
to  complain,  it  was  voiceless.  They  came  weeks  after  to  remove 
it — the  remains  would  still  be  of  use ;  but  strive  as  they  would, 
no  strength  was  able  to  raise  the  bell ;  it  had  grown  ponderous — 
it  defied  them— rooted  to  the  earth  as  it  seemed. 

"They  cannot  make  me  leave  my  post,"  thought  the  bell  — 
"I  will  still  watch  over  this  holy  spot;  it  has  been  my  care  for 

Time  passed,  and  they  strove  no  longer  to  remove  the  relic. 
Its  successor  rang  clearly  from  the  tower  above  its  head,  and  the 
old  bell  slumbered  on,  in  the  warm  sunshine,  and  the  dreary 
storm,  unmolested,  and  almost  forgotten. 

The  afternoon  was  calm,  but  the  sun's  rays  were  most  power- 
ful. A  bright,  noble  boy  had  been  walking  listlessly  under  the 
whispering  trees.  He  was  in  high  health  and  was  resting  from 
eager  exercise,  for  there  was  a  flush  upon  his  open  brow,  and  as 
he  walked  he  wiped  the  beaded  drops  from  his  forehead. 

"  Ah,  here  is  the  place,"  he  said ;  "  I  will  lie  down  in  this 
cool  shade,  and  read  this  pleasant  volume."  The  lays  of  Hana 
Sachs  were  in  his  hand.  So  the  youth  stretched  his  wearied 
limbs  upon  the  velvet  grass,  and  his  head  rested  near  the  old  bell, 


but  he  did  not  know  it,  for  there  was  a  low  shrub  with  thick  ser- 
rated leaves  and  fragrant  blossoms  spreading  over  it,  and  the 
youth  did  not  care  to  look  beyond. 

Presently  the  letters  in  his  book  began  to  grow  indistinct, 
there  was  a  mist  creeping  over  the  page,  and  while  he  wondered 
at  the  marvel,  a  low  clear  voice  spoke  to  him.  Yes,  it  called  his 
name,  "Novalis." 

"  I  am  here,"  said  the  lad,  though  he  could  see  no  one.  He 
glanced  upward,  and  around,  yet  there  was  no  living  creature  in 

"  Listen,"  said  the  voice.  "I  have  not  spoken  to  mortal  for 
many,  many  years. — My  voice  was  hushed  at  thy  birth.  Come, 
I  will  tell  thee  of  it."  The  youth  listened,  though  he  was  sadly 
amazed.  He  felt  bound  to  the  spot,  and  he  could  not  close  his 

"  Time  has  passed  swiftly,"  said  the  voice,  "  since  I  watched 
the  children  who  are  now  men  and  women,  at  their  sports  in  the 
neighbouring  forest.  I  looked  out  from  my  station  in  the  old 
tower,  and  morning  and  evening  beheld  with  joy  those  innocent 
faces,  as  they  ran  and  bounded  in  wild  delight,  fearless  of  the 
future,  and  careless  of  the  present  hour.  They  were  all  my  chil- 
dren, for  I  had  rejoiced  at  their  birth,  and  if  it  was  ordained  that 
the  Good  Shepherd  early  called  one  of  the  lambs  to  his  bosom, 
I  tolled  not  mournfully,  but  solemnly,  at  the  departure.  I  knew 
it  was  far  better  for  those  who  slept  thus  peacefully,  and  I  could 
not  sorrow  for  them. 

"  I  marked  one,  a  fair,  delicate  girl,  who  often  separated  her- 
self from  her  merry  companions.  She  would  leave  their  noisy 
play,  and  stealing  with  her  book  and  work  through  the  dark  old 
trees,  would  sit  for  hours  in  the  shadow  of  the  tower.  Though 


she  never  came  without  a  volume,  such  an  one  as  just  now  you 
were  reading,  the  book  was  often  neglected,  and  leaning  her  head 
upon  her  hand,  she  would  remain  until  the  twilight  tenderly 
veiled  her  beautiful  form,  wrapt  in  a  deep,  still  musing.  I  knew 
that  her  thoughts  were  holy  and  pure ;  often  of  Heaven,  for  she 
would  raise  her  eyes  to  the  bending  sky,  jewelled  as  it  was  in 
the  evening  hour,  and  seem  in  prayer,  though  her  lips  moved 
not,  and  the  listening  breezes  could  not  catch  a  murmuring 

"  But  the  girl  grew  up,  innocent  as  in  her  childhood,  yet  with 
a  rosier  flush  upon  her  cheeks  and  a  brighter  lustre  in  her  dreamy 
eye.  I  did  not  see  her  so  often  then,  but  when  my  voice  on  the 
bright  Sabbath  morning  called  those  who  love  the  good  Father 
to  come  and  thank  him  for  his  wondrous  mercy  and  goodness, 
she  was  the  first  to  obey  the  summons,  and  I  watched  the  snowy 
drapery  which  she  always  wore,  as  it  fluttered  by  the  dark  foliage, 
or  gleamed  in  the  glad  sunshine.  She  did  not  come  alone,  for 
her  grandsire  ever  leaned  upon  her  arm,  and  she  guided  his  un- 
certain steps,  and  listened  earnestly  to  the  words  of  wisdom 
which  he  spoke.  Then  I  marked  that  often  another  joined  the 
group,  a  youth  who  had  been  her  companion  years  agone,  when 
she  was  a  very  child.  Now,  they  did  not  stray  as  then,  with 
arms  entwined,  and  hand  linked  in  haud ;  but  the  youth  sup- 
ported the  graudsire,  and  she  walked  beside  him,  looking  timidly 
upon  the  ground,  and  if  by  chance  he  spoke  to  her,  a  bright 
glow  would  arise  to  her  lips  and  forehead. 

"  Never  did  my  voice  ring  out  for  a  merrier  bridal  than  on  the 
morn  when  they  were  united,  before  the  altar  of  this  very  church. 
All  the  village  rejoiced  with  them,  for  the  gentle  girl  was  loved 
as  a  sister,  and  a  daughter ;  all  said  that  the  youth  to  whom  she 


had  plighted  her  troth,  was  well  worthy  of  the  jewel  he  had 
gained.  The  old  praised,  and  the  young  admired  as  the  bridal 
party  turned  toward  their  home,  a  simple,  vine-shaded  cottage, 
not  a  stone's-throw  from  where  thou  art  lying.  They  did  not 
forget  the  God  who  had  bestowed  so  much  of  happiness  upon 
them,  even  in  the  midst  of  pleasure,  and  often  they  would  come 
in  the  hush  of  twilight,  and,  kneeling  by  the  altar,  give  thanks 
for  all  the  mercies  they  had  received. 

"  Two  years — long  as  the  period  may  seem  to  youth — glides 
swiftly  past  when  the  heart  is  at  rest.  Then  once  more  a 
chime  floated  from  the  belfry.  It  was  at  early  dawn,  when  the 
mist  was  lying  on  the  mountain's  side,  and  the  dew  hid  trembling 
in  the  flower-bells,  frighted  by  the  first  beams  of  the  rising  day. 
A  son  had  been  given  to  them,  a  bright,  healthful  babe,  with 
eyes  blue  as  the  mother's  who  clasped  him  to  her  breast,  and 
dedicated  him  with  his  first  breath  to  the  parent  who  had  watched 
over  her  orphaned  youth,  and  had  given  this  treasure  to  her 

"  That  bright  day  faded,  and  even  came  sadly  upon  the  face 
of  nature.  Deep  and  mournful  was  the  tone  which  I  flung  upon 
the  passing  wind;  and  the  fir-trees  of  the  forest  sent  back  a 
moan  from  their  swaying  branches,  heavily  swaying,  as  if  for 
very  sympathy.  Life  was  that  day  given,  but  another  had  been 
recalled.  The  young  mother's  deep  sleep  was  not  broken  even 
by  the  wailing  voice  of  her  first-born,  for  it  was  the  repose  of 

"  They  laid  her  beside  the  very  spot  where  she  had  passed 
go  many  hours ;  and  then  I  knew  it  was  the  grave  of  her  parents 
which  she  had  so  loved  to  visit. 
."The  son  lived,  and  the  father's  grief  abated,  when  he  saw 


the  boy  growing  in  the  image  of  his  mother ;  and  when  the  child, 
with  uncertain  footsteps,  had  dared  to  tread  upon  the  velvet  grass, 
the  father  brought  him  to  the  church-yard,  and  clasping  his  little 
hands  as  he  knelt  beside  him,  taught  the  babe  that  he  had  also 
a  Father  in  heaven. 

"  I  have  lain  since  that  time  almost  by  her  side,  for  my  pride 
was  humbled,  when  they  removed  me  from  the  station  I  had  so 
long  occupied.  My  voice  has  been  hushed  from  that  sorrowful 
night  even  till  now,  but  I  am  compelled  to  speak  to  thee. 

"  Boy !  boy !  it  is  thy  mother  of  whom  I  have  told  thee  !  Two 
lives  were  given  for  thine ;  thy  mother,  who  brought  thee  into 
the  world  —  thy  Saviour,  who  would  give  thee  a  second  birth  — 
they  have  died  that  thou  might  live ;  and  for  so  great  a  sacrifice 
how  much  will  be  required  of  thee  !  See  to  it,  that  thou  art  not 
found  wanting  when  a  reckoning  is  demanded  of  thee." 

Suddenly  as  it  had  been  borne  to  his  ears,  the  voice  became 
silent.  The  boy  started,  as  if  from  deep  sleep,  and  put  his  hand 
to  his  brow.  The  dew  lay  damply  upon  it, — the  shades  of  eve- 
ning had  crept  over  the  churchyard ;  and  he  could  scarce  discern 
the  white  slab  that  marked  the  resting-place  of  his  mother.  It 
may  have  been  a  dream  —  but  when  he  searched  about  him  for 
the  old  bell,  it  was  lying  with  its  lip  very  near  to  the  fragrant 
pillow  upon  which  he  had  reposed. 

Thoughtfully  and  slowly  the  boy  went  toward  his  home,  but 
though  he  told  none,  not  even  his  father,  what  had  befallen  him, 
the  story  of  the  old  bell  was  never  forgotten,  and  his  future  life 
was  influenced  by  the  remembrance. 


A  WOMANLY  love  is  the  love  of  flowers, 

With  their  soft  and  rich  perfume, 
'Tis  a  graceful  task  to  rear  and  guard 

Young  plants  as  they  bud  and  bloom  j 
And  flowers  can  speak  as  in  olden  time, 

Though  no  audible  voices  thrill, 
Their  velvet  lips  are  not  moved  apart, 

Yet  their  words  can  the  silence  fill. 

This  campion  rose  is  a  messenger 

To  tell  of  a  Southern  clime; 
The  orange  buds  bear  in  their  snowy  bells 

The  tones  of  a  bridal  chime. 
The  violet  whispers  of  modest  worth, 

And  see  as  a  thought  of  Heaven 
The  amaranth  bathed  to  its  very  heart 

With  the  purple  hues  of  even ! 

I  have  blossoms  withering  now  and  sere 

That  told  me  of  love  and  truth, 
They  were  offered  by  one  who  early  claimed 

The  friendship  of  trusting  youth. 



The  buds  are  faded,  the  leaves  are  brown, 

But  I  prize  and  treasure  them  yet, 
Though  tears  -will  fall  as  they  meet  my  gaze, 

Recalling  a  fond  regret. 

For  a  common  weed,  with  its  pale,  blue  cup, 

Is  twined  with  that  very  flower, 
It  knew  no  nurture  from  gentle  hands, 

It  grew  in  no  garden  bower. 
'T  was  the  first  faint  bloom  'mid  the  tangled  grass 

That  grew  on  that  friend's  low  grave, 
Ah,  little  we  thought  when  the  first  were  given 

How  soon  should  the  last  one  wave. 

And  yet  a  message  of  Hope  was  breathed 

From  each  fragile  and  tender  leaf, 
That  came  as  a  "voice  from  the  Spirit  Land" 

To  solace  my  heart's  wild  grief; 
It  seemed  as  a  type  of  the  second  life 

As  it  bloomed  where  no  foot  had  trod, 
For  its  petals  bore  the  blue  of  Heaven, 

And  it  sprang  from  the  lonely  sod. 




"  A  white  rose,  delicate, 
On  a  tall  bough  and  straight, 
Early  comer  —  April  comer, 
Never  waiting  for  the  Summer." 


"Say  not,  thou  who  art  bereaved,  'There   is   no   sorrow  like  unto 
mine.' "  —  FLAVEL. 

|HE  Rose  was  certainly  the  most  queenly  flower  in 
all  that  spacious  garden. 

Some  say  queenly,  when  they  mean  haughty; 
but  our  rose  had  nothing  of  haughtiness  in  the 
serenely  proud  air  with  which  she  received  the  homage  of  the 
dew,  the  sunshine,  and  the  evening  wind.  These  were  her  most 
loyal  subjects ;  the  gay  humming-bird  was  certainly  very  incon- 
stant in  his  allegiance,  for  often  he  would  be  found  fluttering 
about  the  Campanula  and  the  pale  Lilies,  when  he  should  have 
been  bending  over  her. 

The  Rose  nodded  carelessly,  when  the  neighbouring  Tulip 
whispered  this,  for  she  knew  the  Tulip  was  a  sad  gossip,  and 
more  than  one  suspected  she  was  black  at  the  heart,  from  envy 
of  her  royal  friend. 

Little  did  the  Rose  care  for  the  desertion  of  the  bright-winged 
bird.  Did  not  the  dew  pay  a  fond  tribute  to  her  beauty  every 
evening,  and  when  the  morning  sun  crept  with  red  rays  to  her 


THE    SORROW    OF    THE    ROSE.  231 

very  heart,  were  not  the  pearly  drops  changed  to  brilliants,  that 
glittered  and  flashed  amid  the  pure  petals  she  unfolded  to  its  kiss  ? 

"  Our  Queen's  tiara  is  renewed  every  morning,"  whispered  the 
amiable  Mignionette.  Mignionette  found  something  to  love  and 
to  admire  iu  every  one,  down  to  the  poor  Bird-Weed  that  crept 
humbly  near  her. 

"A  thousand  pities  that  more  Mignionette  had  not  been 
scattered  through  the  garden,"  said  the  Marigold  —  a  nice,  stout, 
motherly  friend  of  Mignionette's,  who  was  always  nursing  the 
fragile  Sensitive  Plant,  over  whom  she  declared  Monk's  Hood 
held  a  baleful  influence. 

Marigold  often  told  her  quiet  friend  Sage,  that  she  believed 
the  Sensitive  Plant  would  be  strong  and  healthy  enough,  if  once 
removed  from  the  shadow  of  that  cold,  dark  neighbour. 

So  much  for  the  gossip  of  the  garden,  which  now  and  then 
went  on  pretty  briskly,  much  to  the  annoyance  of  the  Lupine, 
who  liked  to  be  quiet,  and  who  bore  a  hatred  to  Narcissus  on  that 
very  account. — Narcissus  was  always  boasting  about  himself,  and 
repeating  the  fine  things  he  had  heard  said  in  his  praise. 

The  Nettle  was  once  so  bitter  as  to  say  he  believed  Narcissus 
imagined  half  of  what  he  was  so  constantly  repeating. 

Still,  as  we  have  said,  all  this  gossip  affected  the  Rose  very 
little.  True,  she  was  grieved  that  any  one  should  be  pained 
by  it ;  and  she  knew  that,  being  one  of  the  most  conspicuous 
flowers,  she  often  had  her  share  of  ill-natured  remark.  Calm 
indifference  was  the  best  shield,  after  all.  —  She  knew  the -purity 
cf  her  petals  was  quite  unimpeachable,  and,  let  them  say  what 
they  would,  could  not  thus  be  soiled.  So  she  smiled  serenely 
above  the  discord,  and  grew  every  day  more  beautiful  and  well- 

232  THE    SORROW    OF    THE    ROSE. 

Ay,  and  happier,  for  close  to  the  soft  moss  that  enveloped  her 
stem,  she  nursed  two  bright  young  buds,  that  bade  fair  to  be  in 
their  turn  beautiful  and  pure. 

How  caressingly  she  bent  over  them  !  It  was  really  delightful 
to  see  her  -watch  and  note  the  faintest  shadow*  of  a  change  that 
crept  over  their  young  lives.  Soon  their  white  petals  would 
burst  through  their  emerald  clasping,  and  then  they  would 
unfold  so  quickly,  to  be  her  friends,  her  companions !  One 
developed  more  rapidly  than  the  other;  it  was  kissed  oftener  by 
the  morning  sunbeams;  and  all  know  there  is  much  of  life  in 
those  fresh,  fraternal  kisses.  The  rough  moss  and  delicate 
emerald  leaves  gave  way  before  them.  Yes,  it  was  true,  the  bud 
was  unfolding ;  there  were  the  waxen  petals  peeping  forth ;  one 
could  almost  see  the  delicate  blush  that  deepened  upon  them  at 
the  praises  of  the  surrounding  blossoms. 

All  agreed  it  was  the  most  beautiful  bud  of  the  season. 

And  the  Rose  —  oh !  she  had  quite  forgotten  herself  in  her 
love  and  admiration  of  the  fragile  nursling  that  clung  so  fondly 
to  her  stem  !  She  was  never  weary  of  bending  down  to  shade  it 
from  the  noontide  heat,  and  she  shared  with  it  the  evening  tri- 
bute of  dew.  Its  younger  sister  was  not  forgotten  —  but  her 
quieter  loveliness  was  naught,  when  compared  with  the  peerless 
favourite  !  The  Rose  forgot  that  her  own  beauty  was  waning — 
that  she  no  longer  possessed  the  grace  of  youth,  and  was  slowly 
withering  in  her  prime. 

She  lived  again  ;  she  would  live  on,  in  this,  her  beautiful  bud. 

We  had  forgotten  to  tell  you,  that  a  tribute  was  required  at 
stated  seasons,  by  the  owner  of  the  garden.  It  was  cared  for, 
and  nurtured  by  her  kindness,  and  the  only  return  she  required 
was,  that  the  flowers  should  thrive,  and  should  be  willing,  at  her 

THE    SORROW    OF    THE    ROSE.  233 

•wish,  to  yield  up  some  from  among  their  number  to  her  peculiar 
control.  No  one  knew  what  afterwards  became  of  them,  as  the 
blossoms  never  returned.  They  had  questioned  many  things, 
but  no  certain  reply  had  ever  been  given  them,  though  the 
zephyrs  and  the  moonlight  both  assured  them  that  it  was  an 
honour  to  be  so  chosen;  and  a  tradition  existed  among  them 
that  those  who  left  their  number  were  far  happier  than  when  in 
their  midst.  Yet,  after  all,  they  shrunk  from  the  change;  it 
was  so  uncertain,  they  said,  and  in  the  garden  there  were  mam 
companions  and  friends  —  much  to  make  them  happy,  even  if 
they  were  sometimes  exposed  to  mildew,  and  the  attacks  of  in- 
trusive insects. 

Now  and  then  you  would  find  a  blossom  not  only  willing,  but 
indeed  eager  to  be  chosen.  Some  because  they  were  weary  of 
the  inactive  life  they  led,  or  because  they  knew  a  worm  was 
gnawing  at  their  root,  that  would  destroy  thfcm  if  they  were  not 
speedily  rescued.  But  others  there  were,  perfect  still  in  their 
young  freshness,  and  fearing  neither  worm  nor  blight,  who  bowed 
in  quiet  peace  to  the  summons,  because  they  were  grateful  for 
the  kindness  that  had  so  long  nurtured  them,  and  were  ready  to 
yield  their  first  fragrance,  ay,  and  even  their  lives,  if  required, 
as  a  small  return  for  such  benevolent  guardianship. 

A  gentle  hand  hovered  over  the  Rose ;  a  quick,  wild  pang, 
that  curdled  her  very  life,  and  she  saw  her  beautiful  bud  was  no 
longer  near  her — that  pang  was  in  token  of  their  separation. 

Never  was  there  such  wild  sorrow.  The  Rose  rocked  to  and 
fro,  in  deepest  grief.  A  low  wailing  fell  heavily  upon  the  air, 
unheard  by  any  save  those  friends  who  strove  in  vain  to  comfort 
her.  One  by  one,  her  petals  drooped  heavily;  a  cold  dampness 
settled  upon  every  leaf.  In  vain  came  the  dew,  with  soft  and 

234  THE    SORROW    OF    THE    R  d*S  E. 

healing  ministry ;  the  light  kiss  of  the  sunshine  brought  no  life ; 
the  whisper  of  the  evening  wind  failed  to  rouse  her  from  the 
fearful  stupor. 

The  remaining  bud  blossomed  to  rare  loveliness  unheeded.  It 
was  paler  than  the  last  one,  as  if  in  sorrow  at  its  departure ;  but 
there  was  a  hue  of  more  exquisite  purity  about  it,  that  atoned 
for  the  absence  of  that  crimson  flush  which  had  rendered  the 
other  so  proudly  fair.  But  the  Rose  could  not  see  its  beauty — 
h&ided  by  the  tears  she  had  shed  for  her  first  darling. 

The  wailing  of  the  Rose  was  unheard  —  nay,  seemingly 
unheard.  There  was  a  soft,  tranquil  evening,  when  the  whole 
garden  was  bathed  in  the  smile  of  the  calm'  moonlight.  The 
flowers  all  loved  the  moonlight;  it  came  to  them  so  peacefully. 
Now  and  then,  a  leaf  or  a  spray  fluttered  tremulously,  but  all 
else  was  hushed  in  a  perfect  rest. 

Still  the  Rose  wailed  on. 

The  moonlight  but  reminded  her  of  the  many  hours  she  had 
watched  the  lost  one  by  its  mild  light.  The  grief  she  cherished 
had  a  strange  effect:  all  that  had  ever  been  beautiful  in  life 
before,  now  grew  dark,  in  proportion  to  its  former  brightness. 
Some  mournful  reminiscence  clung  to  the  fairest  scene,  the  softest 
perfume.  So  she  closed  her  heart  to  all  healing  influences,  and 
"refused  to  be  comforted." 

A  softer  whisper  than  that  of  the  night-wind  startled  her.  It 
was  a  voice  she  had  never  heard  before  —  one  so  thrillingly  low 
and  sweet,  that  she  hushed  her  moaning  to  listen. 

""Wiat!  murmuring  still!"  said  the  voice.  "Wrapt  even 
until  now  in  selfish,  unholy  repining  !  thou,  once  standing  serenely 
in  a  pure  content !  Rose,  Rose,  thy  purity  waneth  with  every 
lament;  thy  tears  have  become  as  a  mildew  and  a  canker  to 

THE  SORROW    OF    THE    ROSE.  235 

thine  own  breast,  and  to  those  who  have  ever  looked  up  to  thee 
for  shelter !  See,  their  dropping  has  paled  the  Lily  at  thy  feet, 
and  the  heavy-lidded  Violets  sorrow  with  and  for  thee.  Look 
around  —  rouse  thee,  selfish  one,  and  mark  those  who  have  been 
like  thee  bereaved.  The  Eglantine  still  sends  forth  a  grateful 
perfume,  though  its  richest  sprays  have  been  removed.  The 
Harebell  bent  patiently,  as  its  fairest  buds  were  taken;  and 
the  blue  Hyacinth  yields  not  to  despair,  though  its  last  cluster 
of  pale  blossoms  was  bound  with  the  bud  which  thou  mournest. 
It  was  not  thine  only  one  !  But  I  pity  thee,  child  of  my  fairest 
summer  hours,  and  I  am  permitted  to  bring  before  thee  two 
scenes,  that  thou  mayest  draw  from  them  consolation  and  hope. 
Mark  them  well,  and  hush  the  voice  of  wailing  that  drew  me 

So  the  voice  died  silently,  and  the  Hose  bowed  in  very  humili- 
ation of  spirit,  for  she  saw  that  she  had  not  suffered  alone. — 
Then  a  deep  sleep  came  wafted  on  the  breath  of  the  poppy,  that 
floated  about  her,  and  the  garden  faded  from  view. 

There  were  many  lights  flashing  through  the  brilliant  rooms 
upon  which  she  looked.  Soft  music,  such  as  she  had  never 
dreamed  of,  stole  out  to  meet  her.  Laughter,  musical,  silver 
laughter,  mingled  with  the  strain,  and  bright  eyes  flashed,  and 
red  lips  smiled,  in  the  crowd  gathered  near  the  mistress  of  the 
mansion.  Oh  !  how  very  beautiful  was  that  stately  woman,  with 
a  cloud  of  white  drapery  floating  about  her,  and  her  dark  hair 
banded  in  rich  braids,  unornamented  but  by  a  single  rose  —  nay, 
a  half-opened  bud.  The  Rose  saw,  with  a  thrill  of  delight,  that 
her  darling  had  been  thus  preferred ;  and  then  the  scene  faded. 

A  damp,  chill  wind  seemed  to  destroy  her  with  its  breath. 
A  hoarse  murmur  ran  through  the  dark  heavens,  that  scowled 

236  THE    SORROW    OF    THE    ROSE. 

angrily  over  the  garden;  but  her  bud  was  returned  to  her, 
with  its  loveliness  increased  tenfold;  and  in  that  joy,  all  else 
was  forgotten.  Then  the  wild  wind  severed  them  again ;  they 
were  torn  rudely  asunder,  and  the  bud  was  lying  at  her  feet, 
crushed  to"the  ground,  withering,  dying,  unhonoured  and  uncared- 
for.  The  dark  earth-stains  had  destroyed  its  beauty  —  and  so  it 

"Which  wouldst  thou  have  chosen?"  whispered  the  voice 
once  more. 

And  the  Rose  replied  humbly  to  the  Flower-Spirit  —  for  now 
she  knew  with  whom  she  held  converse — and  said  : 

"I  am  content.     Thou  art  wiser  than  I." 

And  there  was  much  to  comfort  the  Rose,  now  that  the  voice 
of  afiection  was  heeded.  One  beautiful  bud  still  remained  — 
the  dew,  the  sunlight,  and  the  soft  wind  that  came  to  her  as  of 
old  —  and,  above  all,  she  remembered  that  through  her  sorrow 
she  had  first  known  the  voice  of  the  gentle  Spirit,  who  watched 
above  them  all,  and  would  not  "grieve  or  afflict  them  willingly." 



A  SUDDEN  thrill  passed  through  my  heart, 

Wild  and  intense  —  yet  hot  of  pain — 
I  strove  to  quell  quick,  bounding  throbs, 

And  scanned  the  sentence  o'er  again. 
It  might  have  been  most  idly  penned 

By  one  whose  thoughts  from  love  were  free, 
And  yet,  as  if  entranced,  I  read 

"Thou  art  most  beautiful  to  me." 

Thou  did'st  not  whisper  I  was  dear — 

There  were  no  gleams  of  tenderness, 
Save  those  my  trembling  heart  would  hope 

That  careless  sentence  might  express. 
But  while  the  blinding  tears  fell  fast, 

Until  the  words  I  scarce  could  see, 
There  shone,  as  through  a  wreathing  mist, 

"Thou  art  most  beautiful  to  me." 



To  thee !     I  cared  not  for  all  eyes, 

So  I  was  beautiful  in  thine ; 
A  timid  star,  my  faint,  sad  beams, 

Upon  thy  path  alone  should  shine. 
jOh,  what  was  praise,  save  from  thy  lips — 

And  love  should  all  unheeded  be, 
So  I  could  hear  thy  blessed  voice 

Say — "Thou  art  beautiful  to  me." 

And  I  have  heard  those  very  words — 

Blushing  beneath  thine  earnest  gaze — 
Though  thou,  perchance,  hadst  quite  forgot 

They  had  been  said  in  by-gone  days. 
While  clasped  hand,  and  circling  arm, 

Drew  me  still  nearer  unto  thee — 
Thy  low  voice  breathed  upon  mine  ear, 

Thou,  love,  art  beautiful  to  me." 

And,  dearest,  though  thine  eyes  alone 

May  see  in  me  a  single  grace — 
I  care  not,  so  thou  e'er  canst  find 

A  hidden  sweetness  in  my  face. 
And  if,  as  years  and  cares  steal  on, 

Even  that  lingering  light  must  flee, 
What  matter !   if  from  thee  I  hear 

"  Thou  art  still  beautiful  to  me ! " 



THROUGH  her  tears  she  gazed  upon  them, 

Records  of  that  brief  bright  dream ! 
And  she  clasped  them  closer — closer — 

For  a  message  they  would  seem 
Coming  from  the  lips  now  silent — 

Coming  from  a  hand  now  cold, 
And  she  felt  the  same  emotion 

They  had  thrilled  her  with  of  old: 

Blended  with  a  holy  grieving — 

Blended  with  a  throbbing  pain — 
For  she  knew  the  hand  that  penned  them 

Might  not  clasp  her  own  again. 
And  she  felt  the  desolation 

That  had  fallen  on  her  heart; 
Bitter  memories  thronged  around  her, 

Bitter  murmurs  would  upstart. 

She  had  waited  for  their  coming, 

She  had  kissed  them  o'er  and  o'er — 
And  they  were  so  fondly  treasured, 

For  the  words  of  love  they  bore. 
Words  that  whispered  in  the  silence, 

She  had  listened  till  his  tone 
Seemed  to  linger  in  the  echo, 

"  Darling,  thou  art  all  mine  own ! ' ' 


240  OLD    LETTERS. 

Faster  still  the  tears  carne  falling 

Through  her  white  and  wasted  hands, 
Where  the  marriage-ring — the  widow's — 

Linked  their  slender  golden  bands. 
Sobs  half  stifled  still  were  struggling 

Through  her  pale  and  parted  lips; 
Oh,  her  beauty  with  life's  brightness 

Suffered  a  most  drear  eclipse  ! 

Slowly  folding,  how  she  lingered 

O'er  the  words  his  hands  had  traced! 
Though  the  plashing  drops  had  fallen, 

And  the  faint  lines  half  effaced. 
"Gone  for  ever — oh,  for  ever  I" 

Murmured  she  with  wailing  cry — 
Ah,  too  true,  for  through  the  silence 

Came  no  voice  to  give  reply. 

It  is  passed.     The  sob  is  stifled — 

Quivering  lips  are  wreathed  with  smiles, 
Mocking  with  their  strange  deceiving, 

Watchful  love  she  thus  beguiles — 
With  the  thought  that  o'er  her  spirit 

Sorrow's  shadow  scarce  is  thrown; 
For  those  letters  have  a  message 

To  her  heart,  and  her's  alone. 



"  At  the  door  you  will  not  enter, 

I  have  gazed  too  long-, — adieu ! 
Hope  withdraws  her  peradventure, 
Death  is  near  me  and  not  you." 


SLOWLY  fades  the  misty  twilight, 

O'er  the  thronged  and  noisy  town; 
Clouds  are  gathered  in  the  distance, 

And  the  clouds  above  it  frown. 
Yet  before  her,  leaves  swayed  lightly 

In  the  hushed  and  drowsy  air, 
And  the  trees  reclothed  in  verdure, 

Had  no  murmur  of  despair. 

She  had  gazed  into  the  darkness, 

Seeking  through  the  busy  crowd, 
For  a  form  once  pressing  onward 

With  a  step  as  firm  and  proud. 
For  a  face  upturned  in  gladness 

To  the  window  where  she  leaned  — 
Smiling  with  an  eager  welcome, 

Though  a  step  but  intervened. 
21  (241) 

242  A  MEMORY. 

Even  now  her  cheek  is  flushing 

With  the  rapture  of  that  gaze; 
And  her  heart  as  then  beats  wildly  - 

Oh,  the  memory  of  those  days ! 
-    As  a  dear,  dear  dream  it  cometh, 

Swiftly  as  a  dream  it  flies ! 
No  one  springeth  now  toward  her, 

Smiling  with  such  earnest  eyes. 

No  one  hastens  home  at  twilight, 

Watching  for  her  hand  to  wave; 
For  the  form  she  seeks  so  vainly 

Sleeps  within  the  silent  grave; 
And  the  eyes  have  smiled  in  dying, 

Blessing  her  with  latest  life, 
Smiled  in  closing  o'er  the  discord 

Of  the  last  wild  earthly  strife. 





Miss  Juliet  Capulet  was  mistaken.    There  is  undoubtedly  much  in  a 
name.  —  Charcoal  Sketches. 

"  True  love  is  at  home  on  a  carpet, 

And  mightily  likes  his  ease ; 
True  love  has  an  eye  for  a  dinner, 
And  starves  under  shady  trees." 

N.  P.  WILLIS. 

ET  me  usher  you,  without  ceremony,  dear  ladies, 
into  No.  20,  a  commodious  apartment  on  the  first 
floor  of  a  wayside  inn.  It  is  undoubtedly  the 
pleasantest  room  in  the  house,  and,  at  this  moment, 
is  enlivened  by  the  presence  of  two  young  and  beautiful  girls. 
There  are  huge  travelling-trunks  and  carpet-bags,  yawning  wide- 
mouthed  ;  for  the  ladies  are  just  completing  the  fatiguing  process 
of  packing.  Thus  far  they  have  journeyed  in  company,  but  now 
their  paths  separate ;  and  as  they  have  been  room-mates  at  school 
for  two  years,  you  can  imagine  there  is  much  to  be  said  on  both 

"Clara,"  said  the  younger,  a  bright-eyed  maiden  "just  seven- 
teen," "isn't  it  time  to  dress?     The  stage  leaves  in  an  hour,  I 


244  IDEAL   HUSBANDS;    OR, 

heard  the  waiter  say.  You  do  my  hair,  and  then  I  '11  braid  yours. 
We  shall  not  have  a  chance  to  play  waiting-maid  for  each  other 
very  soon  again." 

"  True ;  but  don't  forget  your  promise,  that  I  am  to  be  your 
bridesmaid/'  was  the  reply. 

"  Nonsense/'  said  the  other — blushing,  nevertheless,  as  young 
girls  will  when  the  subject  is  thus  brought  home  to  them ;  "  you 
will  need  my  services  first,  Clara.  You  are  older  than  I." 

"  But  you  are  prettier  than  I,  Ella." 

"  You  flatterer !"  and  the  curls  Ella  had  gathered  over  her  little 
white  hands  were  suffered  to  fall  caressingly  about  her  friend's  face. 

"Besides,"  continued  Clara  Howard,  "you  are  an  heiress; 
and  I " —  her  red  lip  curled  scornfully — "  I  am  dependent  upon 
a  stepfather  for  the  very  necessaries  of  existence." 

"  How  can  you  say  '  dependent '  so  bitterly,  when  you  know 
how  kindly  he  speaks  of  you,  and  loves  you,  I  am  sure  ?  " 

"  Yes,  I  know  he  loves  me ;  but  his  own  large  family  are  to 
be  provided  for ;  and  so,  you  see,  puss,  I  lack  one  of  the  essential 
qualifications  to  the  estate  matrimonial.  What  were  you  telling 
me  about  Mr.  Huntington  ?  I  was  so  busy  then." 

"  Oh,  only  Frank  says  he  will  join  our  party  (I  can  say  our 
party  this  year)  at  the  Mountain  House;  and,  you  know,  I  have 
wanted  to  meet  him  so  long.  I  wonder  if  he  will  like  me  ?  " 
she  added,  musingly. 

"  He  is  certain  to  do  so,  if  he  once  sees  you.  And,  Ella,  I 
declare,  you  are  half  in  love  with  him  already.  Your  sister 
evidently  thinks  him  perfection." 

"  You  know  he  was  her  husband's  friend  for  years,  Clara  ;  and 
-  -I  wonder  how  he  looks,"  the  young  girl  said  abruptly. 
"Strange,  Agnes  has  never  described  him  to  me  I" 


"  She  wishes  you  to  be  surprised.  I  have  no  doubt  he  is  a 
splendid  fellow." 

"  Oh,  he  must  be.  Tall  —  yes,  I  am  sure  he  is  tall.  I  never 
could  endure  short  men.  Then,  he  has  jet  black  whiskers  and  a 
mustache.  And  his  hair  must  wave ;  not  curl,  but  wave  a  little 
over  his  brow.  He  must  have  a  beautiful  mouth,  too,  or  I  am 
sure  I  could  not  like  him.  Clara,  positively,  I  never  could  marry 
a  man  who  was  not  tall  and  graceful,  with  dark  eyes  and  whiskers, 
and  a  perfect  mouth.  Yes,  and  an  aristocratic  name  he  must 
have,  too,  or  I  never  could  consent  to  change  my  own  for  his. 
1  Ella  Kirkland '  is  far  too  pretty  to  be  lost  in  Smith,  or  Jones, 
or  Thompson.  Let  me  think  :  Huntington  —  it 's  a  beautiful 
name,  is  n't  it  ?  " 

"  Yes,  Ella  Huntington  is  not  so  bad.  But  I  don't  care  a  fig 
for  a  name,  so  a  man  is  wealthy.  I  believe  I  would  marry  plain 
John  Jones,  if  he  was  as  ugly  as  poor  Jackson  with  his  red  hair 
and  weak  eyes,  provided  plain  John  Jones  had  five  thousand  a 

"Oh,  Clara,  don't  talk  in  that  way;  I  know  you  are  only 
joking.  But  then " 

"No,  I'm  not  joking/'  retorted  the  other,  firmly,  almost 

Poor  girl !  she  is  not  the  only  woman  of  her  age  who  considers- 
wealth  an  essential  to  domestic  happiness.  She  had  been  reared 
with  luxurious  tastes  and  habits;  but  the  wealth  that  supplied 
the  one  and  fostered  the  other,  had  not  been  her  own ;  and  the 
taunts  of  her  mother's  step-children  had  only  created  a  desire  for 
a  fortune  under  her  own  control,  that  she  might  outshine  those 
who  were  her  superiors  only  in  the  wealth  she  so  coveted.  But 
Clara  Howard  is  not  our  heroine,  beautiful  as  she  certainly  was, 

246  IDEAL    HUSBANDS;    OR, 

and  amiable  as  she  might  have  been  but  for  this  plague-spot  that 
burned  upon  her  heart.  We  will  bid  her  farewell,  as  did  her 
late  schoolmate,  at  the  door  of  the  splendid  equipage  long  waiting 
for  the  "  little  heiress,"  a  sobriquet  Ella  had  borne  through  her 
residence  at  Jhe  seminary  of  Madame  Chapron. 

Clara  Howard's  red  lip  curled  once  more,  as  a  lumbering  stage- 
coach soon  after  took  its  place.  It  was  to  bear  her  to  the  next 
large  town,  where  her  stepfather  awaited  her. 

So  we  turn  from  Clara's  scheming  heart,  that  plans  only  that 
it  may  fetter  itself  with  golden  chains,  to  the  bounding  hopes  and 
bright  anticipations  Ella  Kirkland  is  now  pouring  into  the  ear 
of  Frank  Clinton,  the  husband  of  her  only  sister  Agnes.  She 
was  talking  of  Mr.  Huntington  as  they  rode  along.  She  should 
be  so  delighted  to  meet  him !  Was  he  tall  ? 


"And  fine-looking?" 

Ella  was  bidden  to  prepare  for  disappointment. 

"Then  he  is  ugly,  after  all!" 

No ;  her  brother  did  not  say  that ;  but  she  would  not  meet  Mr. 
Huntington,  at  least,  this  season.  He  had,  "  unfortunately,  been 
obliged " 

Ella  did  not  wait  to  hear  any  more.  "  It  was  too  bad,  after 
all  her  sister  had  written  \"  It  was  strange  how  soon  Ella  grew 
weary  after  this,  though  scarcely  one-third  of  their  way  was 
passed.  She  did  not  tell  Mr.  Clinton  all  that  she  had  in- 
tended about  their  examination,  and  how  her  new  songs  had 
been  so  much  admired ;  and  that  Clara  Howard  must  be  invited 
to  pass  the  winter  with  them.  However,  that  recalled  their  last 
conversation,  and  then  she  repeated  it  to — a  part  of  it,  at  least  j 


for  she  did  not  tell  of  her  "  trying  on"  Mr.  Huntington's  name, 
to  her  amused  and  patient  listener. 

"  So,  my  little  Ella  would  never,  positively  never,  marry  a  man 
by  the  name  of  Smith.  What  would  she  think  of  Brown  ?  " 

"  Oh,  horrid  !  that  was  quite  as  bad.  No  j  she  was  willing 
to  repeat  it :  if  a  man  was  ever  so  rich,"  (though,  to  be  sure, 
that  made  little  difference,)  "or  ever  so  tall,"  (a  much  more 
important  consideration  in  the  eyes  of  the  little  lady,)  "  or  ever 
so  handsome  or  intellectual,  those  horrid  names,  Brown,  or  Smith, 
or  Jones,  would  outweigh  his  attractions."  She  wondered  how 
Clara  could  think  so  much  of  money.  Wealth  was  nothing; 
but  her  future  lord  must  have  an  aristocratic  name 

How  merrily  Frank  Clinton  laughed ;  and  then  Ellen  pouted ; 
and  at  last  he  grew  thoughtful,  and  she  grew  stupid ;  so,  as  if  by 
mutual  consent,  they  fell  back  on  the  soft  cushions,  and  neither 
spoke  for  miles  of  that  pleasant  journey. 


"  The  parlours,  both,  are  occupied, 

And  every  other  spot, 
By  couples  who  a-courting  seem, 
And  yet,  perhaps  they  're  not." 

Miss  LESLIE. 

was  a  gay  group  assembled  in  the  drawing- 
room  at  the  Catskill  Mountain  House,  on  the  eve- 
'taR  r\£)  ning  after  Ella  Kirkland's  arrival.  The  house  was 
thronged  with  visitors;  and,  as  usual,  gossip  and 
flirtation  formed  the  principal  amusement  of  the  crowds  thus 
gathered  together  for  the  laudable  purpose  of  killing  time. 

248  IDEAL   HUSBANDS;    OR, 

Mrs.  Clinton  passed  quietly  through  the  larger  room,  and 
entered  the  little  boudoir,  which  all  who  have  visited  this  delight- 
ful summer  resort  must  recollect.  Ah  !  how  many  flirtations  has 
that  mirror  witnessed  !  How  many  a  flushed  cheek  has  been 
shaded  by  those  light  muslin  curtains !  How  many  a  restless 
heart,  filled  with  hope,  mortification,  ay,  even  despair,  has 
throbbed  against  those  soft  lounges,  that  reveal  no  secrets  ! — for- 
tunately for  the  peace  of  mind  of  some  we  wot  of.  Ella  did  not 
think  of  this,  as  she  entered  the  room ;  but  she  was  a  young  lady 
going  into  society  for  the  first  time,  unshackled  by  the  thoughts 
of  a  return  to  school  duties,  and  everything  was  novel  and  delight- 
ful. She  looked  around  with  eager  interest,  as  Mrs.  Clinton 
pointed  out  her  acquaintances  in  the  room  beyond. 

"  There  is  Mrs.  McClure,"  said  Agnes,  "  the  lady  with  the 
quiet,  thoughtful  face,  and  braided  hair.  You  will  like  her,  I 
know.  She  is  still  in  mourning  for  her  husband,  who  died  seve- 
ral years  since ;  and  those  little  fairies  bidding  her  good-night  are 
her  children.  Mrs.  Newland  is  at  the  other  end  of  the  sofa ;  she 
is  her  sister,  a  widow  also ;  but  her  daughters  are  older,  quite 
young  ladies.  There  is  one  of  them  at  the  piano.  She  is  lady- 
like, quiet,  and  self-possessed ; — a  widow  content  to  remain  so, 
though  in  the  prime  of  life.  There  is  Mr.  Dickson,  an  unas- 
suming and  gentlemanly  man.  Mrs.  Orton,  the  poetess,  is  now 
in  conversation  with  him.  Is  she  not  a  graceful  little  crea- 

Ella  looked  with  admiration  on  one  she  had  heard  so  much  of, 
and  whose  writings  she  had  loved  from  childhood. 

"  I  will  finish  my  catalogue  to-morrow,"  continued  Mrs.  Clin- 
ton. "No,  stop;  there  comes  Bradbury ;  you  must  know  him. 
One  of  the  best  fellows  in  the  world;  high-principled,  warm- 


hearted,  generous  to  a  fault.  Somewhat  extravagant,  I  fear,  and 
a  little  vain ;  but  these  are  faults  of  youth,  which  he  will  have 
good  sense  enough  to  conquer  as  he  grows  older.  And  here  is 
the  greatest  curiosity  in  the  whole  menagerie.  Not  a  lion,  exactly 
— a  bear  would  answer  better;  that  is,  I  am  always  tempted  to 
think  of  Frederika  Bremer's  'Bear/  in  her  charming  'Neigh- 
bours,' whenever  I  see  him;  so,  you  see,  the  epithet  is  a  com- 
pliment, after  all.  Did  you  not  notice  Frank  rush  down  when 
the  stage  came  in  ?  Well,  it  was  to  meet  that  man  who  sits  so 
contentedly  gazing  in  at  the  window  frpm  the  piazza;  his  feet 
perched  up  on  the  top  of  the  rail,  a  la  Americans.  Respectable 
feet  they  are,  too,  for  a  man  of  his  size.  He  must  be  at  least  six 
feet  in  height.  He  is  a  great  friend  of  Frank's;  and  a  new-comer, 
as  well  as  yourself.  You  would  find  his  name  on  the  register  just 
below  yours,  as  Walter  Brown,  of  Arkansas.  Is  not  that  enough 
to  startle  one  !  Such  a  backwoodsman  !  But  I  will  leave  you 
to  find  out  his  f  points  and  paces/  as  the  sportsmen  say,  your- 
self. You  will  be  sure  to  like  him." 

"  Impossible  !  "  said  Ella,  hastily.  "  I  never  could  endure  the 
name.  Besides,  he  must  be  a  perfect  savage,  coming  from  such 
a  place.  What  can  Frank  find  to  like  in  him  ?  Such  a  name  ! 
Brown !  I  wonder  if  he  will  ever  find  any  one  to  marry 
him  ?  " 

"  Report  says  that  one  lady  has  already  been  so  rash — that  he 
is  a  widower ;  but  he  denies  it.  Report  adds  that  he  is  looking 
out  for  some  one  to  fill  her  place.  He  would  probably  deny  that, 
too,  if  it  came  to  his  ears.  A  chance  for  you,  Ella,  if  it  is 

"  Horrid ! "  said  Ella,  scornfully.  "  /  marry  a  man  with  the 
name  of  Brown  ! " 

250  IDEAL   HUSBANDS;    OR, 

"Good  evening,  Mrs.  Clinton,"  said  a  voice  near  them. 

Ella  started,  as  if  a  whole  Fourth  of  July  of  fire-works  had 
suddenly  exploded  at  her  feet.  She  had  turned  away  while  they 
were  talking,  and  had  not  seen  any  one  approaching  them.  There 
stood  Mr.  Brown,  within  a  yard  of  the  sofa  on  which  she  was 
lounging.  Her  face  flushed  in  an  instant.  Had  he  overheard 
her  remark  ?  She  hoped  not ;  but  she  could  not  tell.  He  was 
quite  self-possessed;  and,  after  an  introduction,  seated  himself 
near  her,  although  he  addressed  his  conversation  to  Mrs.  Clinton. 
Dear  me,  how  ugly  he  is ! "  she  thought ;  for  though  his  intona- 
tion was  perfect,  and  his  voice  was  musical,  no  one  could  deny 
that  it  came  from  a  large,  very  large,  mouth.  Then  his  forehead 
was  sunburned;  and  his  nose,  though  not  badly  shaped,  had  an 
undue  tinge  of  "love's  proper  hue,"  from  like  exposure.  Besides, 
as  a  tall  man,  he  was  certainly  not  strikingly  graceful — at  least, 
in  repose. 

Ella  rose  to  obey  her  brother's  summons  to  the  piano.  She 
sang  simple  ballads,  with  much  expression ;  and  Frank  was  fond 
of  ballad-singing,  particularly  in  contrast  to  the  "  opera  gems" 
the  city  ladies  were  constantly  strumming.  Frank  had  little  love 
for  Bellini  and  Donizetti  out  of  the  opera-house.  At  any  rate, 
not  as  performed  by  boarding-school  misses. 

Not  once  did  Mr.  Brown  look  up.  Provoking  Mr.  Brown ! 
Although  Ella  well  knew,  from  his  very  face,  that  he  could  not 
have  a  particle  of  music  in  him.  He  sat  quite  still,  apparently 
absorbed  in  admiration  of  the  large,  filbert-shaped  nails  of  his 
really  tolerable  hand.  Every  one  else  crowded  around  the  piano, 
and  thanked  the  fair  musician ;  for,  although  Ella's  voice  was 
neither  brilliant  nor  powerful,  there  was  a  peculiar  freshness  of 
style,  and  a  freedom  from  affectation  in  voice  and  intonation  that 


pleased  those  who  could  also  admire  and  appreciate  more  elabo- 
rate execution. 

So  Ella  sang  on,  urged  by  Mr.  Bradbury  and  Mr.  Dickson, 
who  had  been  presented  to  her  by  Frank.  And  they  all  went 
out  upon  the  piazza  together,  and  strolled  up  and  down  in  the 
soft  moonlight — all  but  Mr.  Brown,  who  engaged  Mrs.  McClure 
in  an  animated  conversation,  and  did  not  even  glance  up  at  the 
window,  as  the  group  outside  passed  and  re-passed.  Ella  was 
glad  of  this,  for  somehow  she  had  taken  an  unaccountable  dislike 
to  Mr.  Brown. 


"Sunrise  upon  the  hills!" 

"  Love  may  slumber  in  a  maiden's  heart,  but  he  always  dreams." — 

|  HOSE  of  our  readers  who  have  had  the  good  fortune 
to  watch  a  clear  sunrise   from  the  piazza  of  the 
Mountain  House,  will  not  wonder  that  our  little 
heroine  stood  absorbed  in  the  view  before  her. 
She  was  quite  alone,  for  Mrs.  Clinton  had  become  more  fond 
of  her  morning  nap,  than  of  watching  a  scene  grown  familiar. 
Her  husband  had  fulfilled  his  promise  of  calling  Ella  in  season ; 
and  he,  too,  loved  morning  dreams-. 

A  group  of  new  arrivals  stood  a  few  rods  from  the  house, 
upon  the  dew-covered  grass ;  but  Frank  had  forbidden  his  charge 


to  set  foot  beside  them,  on  pain  of  a  heavy  cold.  So  Ella  stood 
there,  as  pretty  a  picture  as  one  could  wish  to  see,  with  one  arm 
twined  about  a  pillar,  and  her  light  morning-dress  fluttering  in 
graceful  drapery  about  her ;  but,  rapt  in  quiet  admiration  of  the 
slowly  changing  scene,  she  did  not  once  dream  of  how  she  was 
looking,  and  wondered  why  the  gentlemen  of  the  aforesaid  party 
turned  so  often  toward  the  house. 

Slowly  the  crimson  rays  stole  to  the  heart  of  the  dim  clouds 
that  rested  on  the  crest  of  far-away  Mount  Washington.  First, 
a  faint  rose-tinge  trembled  through  the  ragged  edges;  deeper, 
richer  grew  the  radiance,  until  all  glorious  hues  were  blended  in 
its  inmost  folds.  A  golden  light  played  o'er  the  bending  hori- 
zon -,  a  mellow  radiance  that  faded  at  last  to  faintest  sapphire. 
So  day  came  on,  proudly,  rejoicingly.  The  vapoury  masses  that 
filled  the  valley  below,  trembled  as  the  first  sunbeams  fell  among 
them ;  and  then  fled,  like  a  discomfited  host  pierced  by  the  glit- 
tering lances  of  an  enemy.  Miles  away  the  beautiful  Hudson 
sparkled  and  dashed  its  mimic  waves  on  sloping,  wood-crowned 
banks ;  and  near  them  the  proud  summits  of  the  Catskills  became 
more  distinctly  defined  against  a  cloudless  sky. 

"  Heavens !  how  beautiful ! "  murmured  the  young  girl,  as  she 
gazed  eagerly  upward  and  around.  There  was  such  a  freshness 
in  the  clear  atmosphere,  such  a  "subtle  luxury"  in  its  very 
breath  !  She  did  not  know  that  it  had  deepened  the  rose  tint  on 
her  cheeks,  and  given  a  clear  brightness  to  her  large  dark  eyes ; 
and  when  a  voice  near  her  echoed  "  Beautiful,  indeed ! "  she  little 
dreamed  that  she  was  the  object  of  such  enthusiasm. 

But  it  startled  her,  mellow  as  was  the  tone ;  and  she  turned 
hastily  to  see — Mr.  Brown !  standing  near 

For  an  instant,  she  was  vexed.     If  it  had  been  Mr.  Bradbury, 


now,  such  an  interruption  would  have  been  far  from  disagree- 
able ;  or  Mr.  Dickson,  even.  Her  heart  was  so  full,  that  she 
longed  to  give  vent  to  her  rapture  in  words;  but  disagreeable 
Mr.  Brown,  of  all  people,  to  come  between  her  and  that  glorious 
sunrise ! 

However,  he  came  forward  so  frankly  to  bid  her  good  morn- 
ing, and  spoke  so  charmingly  of  the  different  atmospheric  effects 
about  them ;  and,  withal,  displayed  unconsciously  so  much  artistic 
skill  and  taste,  that  Ella  could  not  but  be  interested  in  the  con- 
versation; and  so  an  hour  passed  quite  swiftly,  and  she  was  sur- 
prised to  hear  the  dressing-bell  ring  so  suddenly.  As  she  bade 
Mr.  Brown  good  morning,  and  turned  to  her  own  room,  she  came 
to  the  conclusion  that  he  was  a  professional  artist ;  but  then  the 
arts  are  not  particularly  cherished  in  Arkansas. 

Mrs.  Clinton  was  confined  to  her  room  that  morning  by  a  slight 
indisposition.  Frank  sat  beside  her,  as  a  kind  husband  should 
do,  reading  aloud  from  a  new  romance.  Ella  had  hurried  through 
it  the  week  before ;  so,  as  all  the  rest  of  the  household  seemed 
to  have  gone  to  the  falls  or  to  their  rooms,  she  stole  off  to  the 
drawing-room,  resolved  to  have  what  school-girls  call  "a  good 
practice."  Fortunately,  it  was  empty ;  and,  unrestrained  by  lis- 
teners, Ella  gave  full  scope  to  her  bird-like  voice,  singing  any- 
thing she  chanced  to  remember — among  other  simple  strains,  the 
sweet  ballad  of  "  Bonnie  Annie  Lowrie."  As  she  finished  the 
refrain,  Mr.  Brown  came  slowly  forward  from  the  little  boudoir 
we  have  spoken  of. 

Ella  blushed  —  vexed  at  having  had  a  listener  to  her  wild 
cadenzas  —  half  rose  from  the  music-stool,  and  then  sat  down 
again,  turning  over  nervously  a  song  of  Jenny  Lind's  that  was 
open  before  her. 

254  IDEAL    HUSBANDS;    OR, 

"  There  is  one  consolation/'  thought  she ;  "  he  is  no  musician, 
and  will  not  know  whether  I  have  been  singing  false  or  not." 

Sadly  mistaken  was  Ella  Kirkland;  and  so  she  found,  when 
Mr.  Brown  spoke  of  "  Annie  Lowrie,"  and  begged  her  to  sing  it 
once  more."  Then  they  chatted  of  Scotch  and  Irish  songs,  of 
Moore's  Melodies,  and  Mrs.  Norton's  delightful  ballads.  It  was 
very  strange  he  liked  all  her  old  favourites ;  and,  at  last,  as  she 
was  playing  "  Fairy  Bells,"  her  astonishment  reached  its  climax 
as  he  joined  her  carelessly  with  a  most  agreeable  tenor.  Then 
he  suggested  some  little  alterations  in  her  style  and  tone ;  and 
so  they  sang  and  chatted  a  long  time — Ella  was  surprised  to  find 
how  long,  as  she  looked  at  her  watch  on  her  way  to  Mrs.  Clin- 
ton's room. 

Yet  she  was  vexed  at  her  sister's  raillery  when  recounting  the 
adventures  of  the  morning,  and  wondered  how  she  could  dream 
of  teazing  her  about  any  one  named  Brown,  and  with  no  mus- 
tache either !  Mr.  Brown  had  not  even  whiskers. !  Then 
such  a  mouth !  No ;  Ella  declared  that,  until  the  legislature 
had  done  something  for  his  name,  and  surgical  science  had  found 
a  method  for  improving  ugly  mouths,  her  heart  was  in  no  danger. 

So  she  changed  the  topic  of  conversation,  by  inquiring  how 
long  they  were  going  to  stay  among  the  mountains,  and  why  Mr. 
Huntington  did  not  join  them.  It  was  too  provoking !  Mr. 
Huntington  seemed  to  elude  her,  as  if  he  had  been  Peter  Schle- 
mihl  himself!  No  sooner  did  she  expect  to  meet  him,  than, 
presto!  something  must  happen  to  disturb  their  plans.  Her 
sister  smiled,  probably  at  her  pettish  tone ;  but  pettishness  was 
not  an  unpleasant  expression  on  Ella's  face ;  her  eyes  seemed  al- 
ways to  grow  brighter,  and  her  red  lips  pouted  so  kissably  —  at 
least,  so  Frank  always  said. 


Thus  interrogated,  Mrs.  Clinton  replied  that  their  stay  would 
be  four  weeks  at  least ;  for  she  certainly  found  it  the  coolest  place 
they  had  visited  that  season ;  and  the  house  was  well  kept,  the 
company  decidedly  recherche.  As  to  Mr.  Huntington,  all  was 
doubtful;  he  might  not  make  his  appearance  at  all,  or,  if  he 
came,  it  would  probably  be  the  very  last  week  of  their  stay. 
Then  she  went  on  to  praise  Mr.  Huntington,  his  fine  intellect, 
taste,  and  address.  Moreover,  his  firm  principles  and  great 
moral  excellence  had  b^en  well  tested  in  their  long  and  intimate 
friendship.  Mrs.  Clinton  did  not  say,  but  she  hinted  how  happy 
it  would  make  them  all  to  see  Ellen  the  wife  of  such  a  man ; 
and  her  listener's  heart  beat  fast ;  for  —  shall  we  let  you  into 
Ella's  secrets  ?  —  she  had  long  loved  an  ideal  Mr.  Huntington. 
For  two  years  past,  her  sister's  letters  had  spoken  of  their  friend 
in  no  measured  terms  of  praise ;  and,  unconsciously  to  herself, 
he  had  become  "  her  thought  by  day,  her  dream  by  night." 

"Very  improper!"  whispers  some  prudish  maiden.  But, 
lady,  woman's  heart  craves  an  object  for  its  affection ;  and  better 
let  it  be  wasted  upon  a  noble  ideal  than  a  worthless,  characterless 
reality,  as  "first  lovers"  ofttimes  prove. 

This  will  explain  Ella's  sore  disappointment  at  not  meeting 
Mr.  Huntington,  and  why  she  listened  with  so  much  pleasure  to 
her  sister's  praise. 

As  she  stood  before  her  mirror  that  afternoon,  braiding  her 
heavy  hair,  she  caught  a  glimpse  of  the  face  shaded  by  it, 
and  wondered  if  Mr.  Huntington  would  think  her  pretty. 
Then  she  recollected  that  Mrs.  Clinton  had  not  yet  described 
him,  and  she  resolved  to  ask  a  portrait  that  very  evening. 
"  But,  of  course,"  thought  Ella,  "  he  has  magnificent  dark 
eyes;  aud  such  a  noble  forehead!  I  do  hope  he  is  tall!';  for 

256  IDEAL   HUSBANDS;    OR, 

Ella,  like  most  ladies  of  medium  height,  had  rather  a  peculiar 
admiration  for  tall  gentlemen. 

When  they  all  re-assembled  at  the  dinner-table,  Ella  found  the 
seat  next  her  assigned  to  Mr.  Brown.  At  first,  it  made  her  a 
little  uncomfortable ;  but  his  sparkling  conversation  soon  put  her 
at  ease;  and,  at  last,  the  large  mouth  grew  more  tolerable  in 
consideration  of  the  sweet  voice  and  witty  sayings.  That  eve- 
ning, too,  she  found  herself  turning  away  from  Mr.  Dickson's 
quiet  sarcasm,  and  Mr.  Bradbury's  good-natured  comments  on 
the  assembled  crowd,  to  listen  again  while  Mr.  Brown  spoke  of 
foreign  lands  in  contrast  with  our  own.  He  had  already  travelled 
much,  and  his  descriptions  were  absolutely  word-paintings. 
Besides,  he  seemed  to  have  a  wonderful  knowledge  of  the  world 
in  its  social  aspect.  This  was  betrayed  quite  naturally  in  the 
course  of  conversation  with  Frank  Clinton.  There  was  no  os- 
tentation of  knowledge  or  pursuit ;  his  friend  knew  well  how  to 
guide  the  current  of  conversation,  and  Mr.  Brown  seemed  quite 
unconscious  that  he  was  so  led.  He  rarely  addressed  Ella,  but 
now  and  then  he  would  turn  suddenly  toward  her  for  sympathy 
with  some  noble  sentiment,  or  approval  of  some  graphic  sketch ; 
and,  without  knowing  how  well  pleased  she  was,  our  heroine  sat 
in  a  quiet,  happy  mood,  wondering  at  his  extensive  information, 
and  smiling  at  his  lively  sallies. 

So  passed  the  first  day  at  the  Mountain  House ;  and  so  passed 
the  next,  and  the  next ;  varied  now  and  then  with  a  walk,  a  ride, 
a  visit  to  the  falls,  or  a  merry  bowling  party.  .Ella  had  never 
been  so  happy  before.  She  had  almost  ceased  to  wish  for  Mr. 
Huntington's  presence,  and  actually  reproached  herself  at  the  in- 
difference with  which  she  listened  to  Frank's  wonders  at  the  cause 
of  his  long  detention. 



Juliet.  Romeo,  doff  thy  name, 

And  for  that  name  which  is  no  part  of  thee, 
Take  all  myself. 

Romeo.  I  take  thec  at  thy  word, 

Call  me  but  love,  and  I  '11  be  new  baptized  : 
Henceforth,  I  never  will  be  Romeo. 


-]Wfi^|  HEY  were  standing  by  the  piano,  quite  alone,  Ella 
and  Mr.  Brown.  Almost  unconsciously,  they  had 
\"  f  fallen  into  a  habit  of  practising  directly  after  break- 
fast, when  new  visitors  were  gone  to  the  falls,  and 
the  older  guests  sought  their  own  rooms,  or  strolled  up  and  down 
on  the  long,  well-shaded  piazza.  Mr.  Brown's  voice  harmonized 
so  well  with  Ella's,  that  their  duets  were  pronounced  quite 
charming.  With  singing  in  the  morning,  chatting  at  dinner, 
bowling,  dancing  and  walking  together,  they  had  become  very 
good  friends. 

There  is  no  place  in  which  one  grows  well  acquainted  with 
character  so  soon  as  at  the  Mountain  House.  There  is  no  other 
family  to  associate  with  j  you  do  not  care  always  to  join  in  the 
society  of  the  house ;  and  so  one's  party  become  thoroughly 
well  known  to  each  other — far  better  known  than  by  months  of 
fashionable  city  visiting.  Mr.  Brown  had  attached  himself  to 
Frank  Clinton's  party ;  and  in  all  excursions  where  escort  was 
needed,  Ella  fell  to  his  care.  What  at  first  was  accident,  became 
a  matter  of  course.  Quiet  Mrs.  McClure  yielded  her  place  next 

258    .  IDEAL    HUSBANDS;    OR, 

Ella,  at  his  approach;  Mr.  Dickson  and  Mr.  Bradbury  tacitly 
assented  to  the  tete-d-tele  arrangement  in  rides  and  rambles; 
Frank  Clinton  and  his  wife  smiled  at  the  growing  intimacy,  but 
did  not  attempt  to  discountenance  it.  Mrs.  Clinton  well  knew 
that  her  sister  was  in  love  with  an  ideal;  she  seemed  to  have  no 
fear  of  so  plain  a  reality  as  Mr.  Brown. 

And  Ella  ? — she  began  to  expect  his  approach  whenever  he  en- 
tered the  room.  She  scarcely  concealed  her  disappointment  if  their 
practice  hour  was  broken  in  upon ;  she  did  not  dream  that  she  was 
deeply  interested — only  Mr.  Brown  had  grown  endurable.  He 
was  not  so  very  ugly,  after  all.  So  she  thought,  the  morning  of 
which  I  speak,  as  they  stood  there  in  animated  conversation. 

"  This  will  be  our  last  practice  for  some  time,"  said  Mr. 
Brown,  at  length. 

"And  why?"  asked  Ella,  hastily. 

"  I  leave  this  afternoon,"  was  the  reply,  "  and  my  return  is 

"  Must  you  go  ?  "  said  Ella,  poutingly,  beseechingly. 

There  was  more  in  these  few  words,  and  in  the  tone  in  which 
they  were  spoken,  than  Ella  herself  was  aware  of;  but  they 
thrilled  on  the  ear  of  the  listener. 

"I  have  an  only  sister,"  said  Mr.  Brown,  speaking  in  a  low 
voice ;  "  I  have  not  seen  her  for  more  than  a  year,  and  she  has 
just  arrived  in  the  Caledonia.  I  must  go  to  New  York  to  meet 

"Is  she  young?  Is  she  beautiful?  How  you  must  love 
her !  "  murmured  Ella,  rather  thinking  than  speaking 

"  She  is  both  young  and  beautiful ;  not  a  day  older  than  your- 
self, I  imagine.  Yes,  I  am  very,  very  fond  of  her.  She  is  the 
idol  of  our  home  circle.  Rough  as  I  am,  even  I  have  a  pet 


name  for  her.  We  were  speaking  of  pet  names  yesterday,  you 

Yes,  Ella  recollected  it  distinctly.  She  had  been  repeating  to 
him  Mrs.  Osgood's  sweet  little  song,  "Call  me  Pet  Names, 

"  What  dainty  diminutive,  think  you,  my  huge  mouth  can 
fashion  for  our  household  fairy?" 

Ella  did  not  look  up,  but  said  she  could  not  guess. 

" l  Darling,'  "  said  Mr.  Brown,  softly;  "  I  always  call  my  sister 
darling  !  Do  you  like  the  word  ?  " 

Now,  if  Ella  had  one  fancy  over  another,  it  was  to  be  called 
"  darling"  by  those  who  loved  her.  She  did  not  like  any  one  to 
call  her  so  but  those  of  whom  she  was  very  fond.  She  had  never 
heard  it  so  sweetly  cadenced  before.  We  have  said  that  Mr. 
Brown's  voice  was  peculiarly  musical,  and  now  there  was  so 
much  of  heart  thrown  into  the  lingering  echo  of  that  little  word 

"  I  should  think  you  would  like  it,"  said  he,  again  speaking, 
when  he  found  Ella  neither  looked  up  nor  replied.  "  Forgive 
me,  but  you  seem  born  to  be  petted. " 

And  then  Ella  looked  up,  but  her  eyes  speedily  fell  beneath 
the  respectful  yet  earnest  gaze  that  sent  the  blood  crowding  from 
her  heart  to  cheek  and  lip,  leaving  the  poor  heart  so  faint  that  it 
could  do  nothing  but  flutter. 

"  We  probably  shall  not  meet  alone  again,"  said  the  same  low 
voice,  "  so  I  will  bid  you  good-by  now.  I  hope  we  may  see  each 
other  at  some  future  period." 

lie  extended  his  hand  as  he  spoke,  and  Ella  hesitatingly 
placed  her  own  within  its  gentle  clasp.  "  May  God  bless  you, 
Miss  Kirkland  ! "  and  she  was  standing  alone. 

260  IDEAL   HUSBANDS;    OR, 

She  gained  her  own  room,  fastened  the  door  instinctively,  and 
then  threw  herself  upon  a  low  seat  and  buried  her  face  in  her 
hands.  Now  that  tone,  that  look  returned  again  and  again. 
"  Darling !  If  I  could  but  hear  him  speak  it  to  me  \ "  she  mur- 
mured, at -length.  And  then  she  blushed,  though  quite  alone 
with  her  own  heart.  What  had  she  wished  ?  The  love  of  a 
stranger ;  that  dearest  of  pet  names  from  so  ugly  a  mouth  !  Poor 
child !  she  had  made  a  sad  discovery ;  she  loved  unsought — and 
worse  than  all,  one  who  bore  so  unaristocratic  a  name  as  Brown  ! 
A  man  with  a  smooth  lip  and  a  low  brow!  Where  were  those 
essential  mustaches  ?  the  perfect  mouth,  that  should  have  smiled 
upon  her  ?  After  all,  Mr.  Brown's  mouth  had  a  very  sweet  ex- 
pression, and  his  smile  disclosed  teeth  of  almost  dazzling  white- 
ness. His  forehead  was  not  high,  but  it  was  very  pure ;  and  his 

eyes,  though  blue .  Again  the  flush  rose  to  her  very  brow. 

Was  her  love  unsought,  after  all  ?  He  had  not  told  her  that  she 
was  dear  to  him,  in  words ;  but  now,  as  she  reviewed  their  daily 
intercourse  of  the  past  few  weeks,  she  tried  to  persuade  herself 
that  he  was  not  indifferent  to  her.  But  then  he  had  left  her  so 
suddenly,  without  a  word  of  explanation;  and  again  all  was 

She  scarcely  looked  up  until  Frank  tapped  at  her  door  on  his 
way  to  the  dinner-table.  She  had  heard  the  dressing-bell  ring, 
and  then  she  relapsed  into  the  vague  reverie  which  had  before 
absorbed  her ;  so  she  was  still  in  her  morning-dress. 

"  I  have  a  headache ;  I  do  not  wish  any  dinner,"  said  she, 
without  opening  the  door;  and  Frank,  finding  all  expostulation 
vain,  passed  on. 

Mrs.  Clinton  wondered  what  had  made  Ella  so  irritable  that 
afternoon,  and  told  her  that  Mr.  Brown,  had  been  suddenly 


obliged  to  leave  for  the  city.  "  Will  you  not  go  down  to  the 
drawing-room  and  bid  him  good-bye?"  she  asked.  No;  Ella 
was  obstinate,  and  Mrs.  Clinton  went  alone.  Ella  stood,  shel- 
tered by  the  green  blind  of  her  window,  and  watched  the  passen- 
gers, one  by  one,  as  they  bestowed  themselves  in  the  capacious 
stage-coach.  Last  of  all,  came  a  well-known  form.  Frank  was 
with  him.  He  gazed  earnestly  up  at  the  window  one  moment  j 
then,  as  if  disappointed,  sprang  to  his  seat,  and  the  carnage  rat- 
tled away  over  its  stony  path. 

Mrs.  Clinton  wondered  still  more  at  Ella's  petulance,  when 
she  found  how  long  it  lasted.  From  being  a  gay,  brilliant  girl, 
the  life  of  their  pleasant  evenings,  she  had  become  almost  sullen 
in  her  reserve,  and  passed  hours  quite  alone  in  her  own  room. 
Even  the  announcement  of  Mr.  Huntington's  expected  arrival, 
at  the  end  of  the  week,  failed  to  rouse  her.  She  reproached 
herself  for  it,  but  she  could  not  help  it.  It  was  plain  that  the 
ideal  had  given  place  to  the  real. 

"I  suppose  we  shall  leave  for  New  York  by  Tuesday  next," 
said  Mrs.  Clinton,  one  day,  as  they  stood  watching  the  stage,  as 
it  wound  slowly  toward  the  house.  The  coachman's  bugle  had 
roused  the  mountain  echoes;  and,  as  usual,  all  the  loungers 
strolled  to  the  back  porch  to  criticise  the  new  arrivals. 

"Shall  we?"  said  Ella,  fairly  roused  to  something  like  ani- 
mation. "  I  'm  very  glad  of  it." 

"  I  declare,  Ella,  you  are  a  perfect  enigma.  Only  a  week  ago 
— the  very  day  before  Mr.  Brown  left — you  said  this  was  a  per- 
fect paradise ;  that  New  York  would  be  very  stupid." 

"  I  have  a  lady's  privilege  to  change  my  mind,"  said  Ella, 
somewhat  tartly. 

And  then  she  uttered  a  half-smothered  exclamation ;  for,  as 

262  IDEAL    HUSBANDS;    OR, 

the  stage  drew  up  at  the  door,  she  saw  Mr.  Brown  leap  eagerly 
from  it,  glancing  up  at  the  window  as  he  did  so. 

Mrs.  Clinton  did  not  notice  her  sister's  confusion.  "  Why, 
there  is  our  friend,"  said  she;  and  away  she  hurried  to  find 
Frank  anoT  go  to  meet  him. 

Ella  delayed  going  down  until  the  bell  had  sounded  for  the 
evening  meal ;  and  then  she  was  comparatively  collected,  as  she 
returned  the  formal  greeting  of  the  returned  traveller. 

"I  found  that  my  sister  had  already  left  the  city  for  our 
southern  home ;  and,  as  I  shall  be  detained  in  New  York  a  week 
later  by  business  I  cannot  avoid,  I  ran  up  again  to  pay  you 
a  call." 

Ella  felt  chilled  and  disappointed  —  she  knew  not  why  —  so 
she  grew  silent  and  sad;  not  speaking,  save  when  addressed, 
through  all  that  long  evening.  She  had  gone  out  upon  the  piazza 
as  it  drew  to  a  close — gone  out  alone,  prompted  by  that  undefined 
feeling  of  unrest  that  so  often  draws  us  away  from  the  gayest 
scenes.  She  stood  there,  wondering  why  she  was  so  unhappy ; 
for  tears  came  to  her  eyes  as  the  pleasant  laughter  of  the  saloon 
floated  out  to  her.  Then  she  saw  the  subject  of  her  thoughts 
step  quietly  through  one  of  the  long  windows ;  and  when  she 
would  have  avoided  him,  his  hand  detained  her  while  he  hur- 
riedly whispered,  "  Will  you  not  grant  me  one  request  ?  I  have 
a  fancy  that  I  should  like  to  have  one  more  walk  with  you 
before  we  go.  I  have  Mrs.  Clinton's  permission  that  you  should 
accompany  me,  if  you  choose.  Will  you  go  early,  quite  early 

Ella  dared  not  look  up,  lest  the  secret  of  her  heart  should  be 
unconsciously  revealed.  But  she  gave  the  promise,  and  glided 
away  to  her  room. 


It  was  very  strange !  What  could  he  mean  ?  But  she  had 
assented ;  and  her  sister  reminded  her  of  it  as  she  called  at  the 
door  to  bid  her  good-night.  Little  did  Ella  sleep.  Busy  con- 
jectures and  undefined  anticipations,  half  sad,  half  hopeful,  came 
by  turns ;  and  it  was  long  after  midnight  before  the  young  girl 
was  at  rest. 

She  sprang  up  wildly  from  a  strange,  incoherent  dream,  just 
as  the  first  ray  of  light  crept  in  at  the  window.  A  hasty  toilet 
was  sojon  completed ;  for  she  stopped  not  to  braid  her  luxuriant 
hair,  confining  it  but  by  a  single  comb.  She  looked  very  sweetly, 
however,  despite  the  want  of  ornament,  as  she  tied  on  a  light 
straw  hat,  and  stole  out  upon  the  piazza;  at  least  so  thought  our 
hero,  who  already  waited  for  her.  But  he  did  not  say  so,  though 
he  looked  his  admiration,  as  he  thanked  her  for  her  promptness. 
There  was  no  eye  to  see  them,  as  they  left  the  house  in  the  dim 
grey  light ;  even  the  sunrise  seekers  were  not  astir. 

I  do  not  believe  either  of  them  knew  what  direction  they  were 
taking ;  but  on  they  went,  through  lane  and  field,  in  the  by-path 
to  the  falls.  Neither  spoke,  save  in  monosyllables,  for  miles. 
Yes;  for  before  they  knew  it,  both  were  amazed  to  find  they 
were  near  that  place  of  resort. 

At  this  early  hour,  the  falls  were  not  visible ;  for,  be  it  known, 
most  curious  reader,  that  the  stream  once  dashing  wildly  down  the 
rocky  amphitheatre,  is  now  "  made  to  turn  a  mill,"  and  its  tide 
is  restrained  until  a  sufficient  number  of  visitors  have  arrived  to 
make  the  exhibition  profitable.  Then,  for  the  space  of  fifteen 
minutes,  and  for  the  consideration  of  a  York  shilling  apiece,  you 
may  enjoy  the  magnificent  scene.  So  much  for  the  age  we  live  in ! 

How  heartily  they  laughed  when  they  found  how  far  they  had 
come  in  that  silent  ramble,  and  at  their  own  stupidity.  That 

204  IDEAL    HUSBANDS;    OR, 

laugh  seemed  to  destroy  the  reserve  that  had  arisen  between 
them ;  and  when  Mr.  Brown  proposed  that,  now  they  were  there, 
they  should  descend  to  the  bed  of  the  stream  —  they  would  be 
rewarded  by  a  bouquet  of  wild  flowers,  at  least  —  Ellen  gaily 
assented,  in  spite  of  the  heavy  dew  —  careless  child !  —  and  bade 
Mr.  Brown  lead  the  way.  By  this  time,  it  was  fairly  day  upon 
the  hills,  although  a  deep  shadow  slept  in  the  valley  below  them. 
In  vain  did  Mr.  Brown  proffer  his  assistance  in  descending ;  the 
giddy  girl  refused  to  accept  it ;  and,  half  vexed  at  the  repeated 
refusals,  he  hurried  down  the  steep  declivity.  He  reached  the 
end  of  the  path  in  safety,  and  turned  to  look  at  the  light  form 
swinging  so  airily  above  him.  As  he  did  so,  he  saw  one  little 
foot  placed  upon  a  stone  loosely  embedded  in  the  gravelly  soil ; 
and  before  he  could  utter  a  cry  of  warning,  the  young  girl  fell. 
He  saw  a  cloud  of  white  drapery  sweeping  through  the  green 
foliage  that  obstructed  the  direct  pathway ;  he  already  felt  the 
shock  it  was  impossible  to  avert.  There  was  a  crash  of  the  young 
branches  near  him,  and  Ella  was  lying  almost  at  his  feet.  Her 
face  was  pale  as  the  dead,  while  a  small  crimson  stream  ran 
slowly  from  the  temple  that  rested  on  the  sharp  and  rugged  rock, 
against  which  she  had  fallen. 

One  bound,  and  she  was  in  his  arms,  while  he  dashed  the 
clear  water  of  a  neighbouring  pool  over  that  poor  pale  face. 
Could  it  be  death  ?  so  calmly,  so  rigidly  she  was  lying  upon  his 
arm.  Must  she  die?  So  young  —  so  well-beloved !  And  he 
had  killed  her ! 

The  rocks  above  them  sent  back  his  wild  cry  for  help ;  but  no 
other  answer  was  returned.  The  hour  and  the  place  rendered 
aid  impossible.  He  prayed  her  to  speak,  but  to  unclose  her  eyes 
one  instant;  and  while  no  sound  came  to  break  the  deathlike 


stillness,  it  seemed  as  if  hours  were  passing.  At  last  there  was 
a  faint  quiver  of  the  white  lips,  a  long,  tremulous  sigh,  and  he 
knew  there  was  yet  hope. 

As  consciousness  slowly  returned,  Ella  was  aware  of  a 
strange  clasping ;  then,  above  the  ringing  whirl  that  dizzied  her 
brain,  she  heard  a  well-known  voice  say,  "Darling!  darling!" 
and  there  was  almost  agony  in  the  tone.  She  could  not  remem- 
ber what  had  happened;  and  she  thought  she  was  dreaming. 
But  it  was  a  blessed  dream !  And  she  laid  perfectly  still,  unable 
to  break  the  strange  spell  that  bound  her,  and  listening  to  that 
voice  as  once  more  it  wildly  said,  "Darling !" 

Then  she  unclosed  her  eyes ;  and  as  they  smiled  upwards,  an 
unresisted  kiss  closed  them  again.  But  with  returning  strength, 
came  fears  and  doubts ;  and  with  a  strange  agitation,  Ella  disen- 
gaged herself  from  the  clasping  arm  of  her  companion,  and  said, 
faintly,  "My  sister, — Frank, — what  will  they  say  of  this?" 

"They  know  all,  dear  one;  they  have  sanctioned  my  love 
long  ere  its  acknowledgment.  Tell  me,  that  you  do  not  disdain 
ine;  say  that,  rude  as  I  am  —  there  is  much  more  of  the 
camp  than  the  court  about  me,  I  confess  —  you  will  yet  confide 
your  happiness  to  my  keeping.  Tell  me  that  you  love  me,  Ella, 
even  as  I  love  you." 

"What  think  you  was  Ella  Kirkland's  reply  ?  She  laid  back 
her  head  upon  the  heart  of  the  speaker,  and  he  felt  no  words 
were  needed. 

But  the  silence  was  broken  when  they  began  to  talk  of  their 
return.  How  should  they  accomplish  that  steep  ascent?  the 
long  walk  that  would  then  be  before  them?  More  than  all, 
how  enter  the  house  in  the  sorry  plight  our  heroine  was  now 
reduced  to?  Her  lover  thought  she  had  never  looked  more 

266  IDEAL    HUSBANDS;    OR, 

charmingly  than  at  present,  despite  the  dew-stained  dress  to 
which  the  damp  earth  still  clung,  and  the  wild  disorder  of  her 
loosened  hair.  The  richly-laced  handkerchief  bound  about  her 
bruised  brow,  was  not  an  ungraceful  head-dress.  And  how  they 
both  laughed  at  the  awkward  attempts  Mr.  Brown — no,  Walter, 
for  so  he  begged  her  to  call  him — made  to  assist  Ella  in  binding 
up  the  wealth  of  tresses  that  flowed  from  beneath  it. 

But  we  must  not  linger  on  their  return,  short  and  pleasant  as 
it  seemed  to  both.  Ella  leaned  helplessly  and  confidingly  on  the 
arm  that  was  henceforth  to  shield  her  from  life's  ills.  Fortu- 
nately, all  were  too  deeply  engaged  at  the  breakfast-table  to  notice 
their  entrance ;  and  Ella  saw  no  one  until  her  sister  ran  hastily 
into  the  room  ten  minutes  after. 

"  Mercy,  Ella,"  she  exclaimed,  "  can  I  believe  the  evidence 
of  my  own  senses  ?  Here  I  am  told,  in  the  same  breath,  that 
you  have  been  carried  over  the  falls,  broken  your  neck,  and  then 
come  to  life  again  the  pledged  wife  of  a  Mr.  Brown !  Brown, 
Ella.  '  Horrid  name  ! '  And  such  a  mouth,  too !  He  never 
will  be  able  to  kiss  your  little  face  —  never ! " 

"Where  is  the  future  Mrs.  Brown,  of  Arkansas?"  chimed 
Frank,  opening  the  door.  "  Oh !  Ella,  such  an  unaristocratic 
name ! " 

Poor  Ella !  It  was  useless  to  expostulate ; '  useless  to  stamp 
her  tiny  foot.  Frank  would  not  cease  until  his  wife,  in  pity  for 
Ella's  blushes,  sent  him  out  of  the  room,  and  then  listened  kindly 
while  the  young  girl  told  her  all.  But  even  yet  she  could  not 
speak  his  name  without  faltering  in  tone ;  and  though  she  was 
obliged  to  acknowledge  it  was  foolish,  she  felt  it  a  slight  draw- 
back on  her  present  happiness.  With  Juliet,  she  was  ready  to 
exclaim,  "Oh,  Romeo,  Romeo;  wherefore  art  thou  Romeo?" 


convinced  that,  by  "  any  other  name,"  she  should  like  him  quite 
as  well. 

Mrs.  Clinton  said  no  word  when  the  recital  ended ;  but  after 
sitting  in  deep  thought  while  Ella  completed  her  toilet,  she  started 
suddenly,  exclaiming  —  "  You  have  driven  all  things  from  my 
mind.  I  have  some  news  for  you.  Mr.  Huntington  has  at  last 
actually  arrived.  He  asked  for  you  at  once.  His  curiosity  is 
nearly  equal  to  your  own.  Come,  shall  we  go  down  ?  " 

One  month  before,  and  Ella's  heart  would  have  throbbed  at 
this  announcement ;  but  so  perverse  is  human  nature,  that  she 
now  listened  to  it  with  positive  pain ;  and  though  she  could  not 
refuse  her  sister,  her  step  had  lost  the  lightness  that  had  before 
distinguished  it. 

"  I  will  come  as  soon  as  I  have  had  some  coffee,"  she  whis- 
pered, as  they  reached  the  dining-room  door ;  and  then  she  turned 
to  Mrs.  Clinton's  parlour  in  search  of  Frank  to  accompany  her. 
Oh,  joy !  her  lover  was  there  leaning  against  the  window,  and 
seemingly  absorbed  in  some  deeply  interesting  reverie.  Ella 
sprang  forward  with  a  glad  cry,  and,  ere  she  was  aware  that  she 
had  done  so,  stood  folded  to  his  heart.  As  he  smoothed  back 
the  soft  curls  from  her  brow,  he  saw  that  her  cheek  was  flushed, 
and  felt  how  rapidly  that  little  heart  was  beating.  Was  it  not 
natural  to  ask  the  cause  of  this  unusual  excitement  ?  Ella  told 
him  her  dread  of  meeting  Mr.  Huntingfcon ;  how  she  had  escaped 
almost  from  his  presence;  and  then  she  hid  her  face  on  his 
shoulder,  and  fairly  cried  from  nervous  vexation ;  for — would  you 
believe  it?  —  Walter  but  smiled  instead  of  attempting  to  console 
her ;  and  he  even  said,  "  Is  this  Mr.  Huntington  so  very  disa- 
greeable to  you?" 


"  I  hope  I  shall  never  see  him.  I  am  resolved  I  never  will. 
I  shall  hate  his  very  name,  presently,  if  you  take  his  part." 

Walter  seemed  to  be  of  Frank's  opinion  •with  regard  to  Ella  in 
a  pout.  He  half  stooped  to  kiss  her  red  lips  ere  he  spoke  again. 

"  Ella/'  said  he,  at  last,  as  though  he  had  quite  forgotten  Mr. 
Huntington,  "is  my  name  unpleasant  to  you?  Tell  me  truly." 

Ella  hesitated ;  but  she  could  not  tell  an  untruth  j  so  she  said, 
softly,  "  Walter  is  very  beautiful/' 

"  No,  Ella ;  your  shrinking  from  pronouncing  my  unfortunate 
name,  tells  me  all  I  wished  to  know.  Tell  me  one  thing  more. 
Would  it  please  you  to  find  that  it  had  been  assumed,  after  all — 
that  my  own  was  quite  different  ?  How  would  you  like  it  to  be 
Huntington,  for  instance?" 

Ella  glanced  upwards,  half  bewildered  at  his  words ;  and  then 
a  suspicion  of  the  truth  flashed  upon  her.  She  was  not  deceived. 
It  was  Mr.  Huntington  himself  who  detained  her  at  his  side 
while  he  asked  forgiveness,  and  explained  Frank's  little  plot.  At 
first,  it  was  to  be  explained  very  soon ;  he  had  begged  Frank  to 
do  so  again  and  again,  but  Mr.  Clinton  was  inexorable  until  Ella's 
fancies  had  been  fully  thwarted.  She  understood  now  why  Frank 
had  rushed  so  hastily  to  meet  his  friend  the  night  of  his  unex- 
pected arrival,  and  the  long  colloquies  they  had  so  often  held. 

Ellen  was  at  first  heartily  vexed,  and  would  have  escaped  from 
the  room ;  but  Frank  Clinton  barred  all  egress,  and  she  was  com- 
pelled to  listen  to  his  teazing,  which  Mr.  Huntington  in  vain  tried 
to  prevent.  Then  Agnes  came,  and  gave  glad  congratulations  to 
the  tearful  girl,  who  was  at  last  compelled  to  smile  at  her  own 
folly,  and  the  success  of  the  plot  against  her  school-girl  romance. 


One  more  scene  in  Ella  Kirkland's  life,  and  thou  and  I,  dear 
reader,  part  for  a  season. 

Just  a  year  from  the  commencement  of  our  sketch,  that  young 
lady  sat  reading  a  letter,  a  very  full  letter,  crossed  and  recrossed, 
which  Walter  had  just  brought  to  her.  The  ci-devant  Mr.  Brown 
had  improved  vastly  in  that  period.  The  sunburnt  flush  of 
prairie  travel  had  faded  from  his  fine  face,  and  his  eyes  were 
radiant  with  the  light  of  happiness  as  he  stood  gazing  on  the 
graceful  creature  so  soon  to  be  his  wife.  But  at  last  he  grew 
impatient  of  the  long  epistle  which  seemed  to  interest  Ellen  so 
deeply,  and  he  insisted  on  sharing  its  contents  with  her.  As 
Ella  made  no  strong  objections  to  his  so  doing,  we  may  conclude 
that  we  also  have  the  right  of  perusal,  particularly  as  it  is  from  an 
old  acquaintance,  Clara  Howard. 

"  Willingly  would  I  comply  with  your  request,  dear  Ella,  but 
I  was  just  on  the  point  of  claiming  your  promise  for  myself. 
My  own  bridal  is  fixed  for  the  next  month.  I,  too,  have  found 
one  who  loves  me  devotedly.  '  Is  he  wealthy?'  will  be  your  first 
question,  if  you  remember  our  last  conversation. 

" '  Yes,'  I  can  answer  unhesitatingly.  Not  as  the  world  receives 
the  term;  not  in  houses  or  lauds;  but,  Ella,  the  wealth  my 
Arthur  offers  for  the  acceptance  of  his  bride,  is  far  more  imper- 
ishable than  these  —  a  noble  affectionate  heart;  a  cultivated 
intellect ;  a  firm  purpose  of  right.  He  has  taught  me  (not  in 
words,  for  I  should  be  pained  to  have  him  know  my  once  boasted 
craving  for  riches),  that  our  happiness  in  this  life  depends  upon 
ourselves  rather  than  our  surroundings ;  upon  intellectual  culture, 
and  a  heart  at  peace  with  the  world  and  our  MAKER.  In  fine, 
that  content  is  the  only  true  treasure  of  the  soul ;  turning,  Midas- 
like,  all  that  its  radiance  rests  upon,  to  gold.  This  is  our  chief 

270  THE    TREASURE    SHI  P. 

portion ;  but  this  we,  in  truth,  possess.  The  future  is  fair  before 
us,  for  Arthur's  talents  will  raise  him  to  the  station  he  might 
boldly  claim  among  earth's  noblest  sons.  For  the  present,  we 
may  need  to  struggle  with  many  difficulties ;  but  our  purposes 
are  fairly  wedded,  and  we  shall  aid  each  other. 

"  May  God  bless  you,  my  friend,  as  a  wife ;  and  may  you  both 
be  as  happy  as  we  are  hoping  to  be." 


A  seal  having  as  a  device  a  ship  under  full  sail.    Motto — "  I  bear  ffe 
hopes  of  Many." 

KNOW  ye,  oh,  solemn  waves  that  round  it  swell, 
The  precious  burden  which  ye  onward  bear  ? 

Soft  winds,  fair  winds,  ye  do  your  bidding  well, 
Winged  as  ye  come  by  earnest  mournful  prayer ; 

"  God  speed  the  ship" — it  is  a  wailing  cry, 

Wrung  out  from  many  a  heart's  deep  agony, 

How  long  the  night  to  all  who  hope  with  dawn 
To  see  those  sails  rise  o'er  the  horizon's  verge ; 

The  midnight  bell  which  marks  the  day  now  gone, 
Seems  unto  some  to  strike  a  boding  dirge ; 

The  faint  of  heart  are  they  who  tread  life's  sea 

As  the  disciple  trod  the  waves  of  Galilee. 

THE    TREASURE    SHIP.  271 

For  those  who  woo  no  sorrow  ere  it  falls, 
The  pulse  of  hope  is  thrilling  wildly  now : 

The  maiden  with  a  blushing  cheek  recalls 
The  earnest  words  that  seal  a  parting  vow 

From  one  whose  wanderings  o'er  the  trackless  main 

Are  leading  him  towards  home  and  love  again. 

A  mother  yearns  for  tidings  of  her  child,— 
The  wife  sleeps  but  to  dream  of  one  afar, 

(Oh,  sleep,  thy  many  visions  fleet  and  wild 
How  fearful  in  their  life-like  truth  they  are !) 

So  wears  the  night,  and  still  that  tolling  bell 

Rings  bridal  chimes  for  some,  for  some  a  knell. 

Oh,  silent,  guiding  stars  !     Oh,  sounding  waves  ! 

Oh,  rushing  blast !  have  ye  no  answering  thrill  ? 
Can  ye  not  feel  an  impulse  wild,  that  craves 

A  boon  for  those  who  wait  upon  your  will  ? 
Urge  on  the  treasure  ship — with  fearful  freight 
She  comes  to  them  a  messenger  of  fate. 


"This  it  is  to  feel  uncared  for, 

Like  a  useless  wayside  stone, 
This  it  is  to  walk  in  spirit 

Through  the  desolate  world — alone  !" 


NNIE,  you  will  write  to  me  very  soon  ? — promise 
me  now." 

"  Yes,  darling,  very  soon." 
"  I  know  not  why  it  is,  but  I  have  felt  all  day 
as  if  we  never  were  to  meet  again,  or,  if  we  did,  that  I  should 
be  most  unhappy  to  find  that  you  had  changed,'  and  loved  your 
little  country  friend  no  longer." 

"  Nonsense,  Sophie  !  I  shall  see  you  next  examination  day, 
you  know,  and  what  will  change  true  hearts  in  one  year  ?  " 

I  kissed  away  the  tears  that  came  to  dim  those  loving  eyes, 
and  pressed  the  bright  young  head  of  my  gentle  friend  more 
closely  to  my  heart.  Yet  I  could  not  check  her  sadness ;  and  the 
influence  of  the  dark  mood  fell  upon  my  spirit.  We  were  stand- 
ing in  a  vine-wreathed  portico  that  led  from  the  little  music-room 
in  which  so  many  happy  hours  had  been  passed.  Our  teacher 
was  touching  gently  the  keys  of  an  open  piano,  and  her  low-toned, 
earnest  voice  floated  to  us  as  it  breathed — 

"  Love  not,  love  not,  the  thing  tliou  lov'st  may  die ! " 



"  There  is  more  fear  of  death  than  change,  Sophie/'  said  I,  as 
we  listened  silently. 

"  I  do  not  dread  death,  Annie :  I  could  bear  that,  I  think, 
calmly  as  a  martyr,"  she  answered,  smiling  a  little  at  the  trite 
comparison ;  "  but  I  have  always  felt  so  unworthy  of  love  as  to 
tremble  when  any  one  seemed  to  regard  me  with  affection,  lest  it 
should  be  transient.  I  had  never  dared  to  love  any  one  but  my 
mother  and  father  and  dear  Philip,  till  I  met  you.  Oh  !  change 
would  be  death  to  me  .'" 

I  felt  the  shudder  that  ran  through  her  delicate  frame  as  she 
spoke,  and  involuntarily  wound  my  arm  more  closely  about  her. 
I  knew  that  she  had  thought  rightly. 

"Mr.  Edgar,  as  I  live!"  exclaimed  lively  Nell  Stetson  from 
the  window  just  above  us.  "  Take  care,  girls  —  Sophie,  your 
curls  are  horribly  tangled,  and  I  know  he  is  coming  to  see  you." 

I  did  not  mark  the  blush  that  came  to  Sophie's  face,  for  just 
then  a  carriage  stopped  at  the  little  gate  near  which  we  stood,  and 
I  heard  my  brother's  voice  ask  if  I  was  ready. 

"  Good-bye  !  God  bless  you,  Annie !  I  cannot  see  you  before 
the  rest.  Do  not  forget  me" — and  in  a  moment  I  had  pressed  a 
fervent  kiss  upon  the  pure  brow  of  the  speaker,  and  Sophie 
Ellis  bounded  through  the  open  door.  This  was  our  parting. 

The  kind  faces  of  my  teachers  seemed  sad  as  they  came  out 
upon  the  portico  to  bid  me  farewell  j  the  school-girls,  one  after 
another,  told  me  that  they  should  miss  me  from  their  midst ;  yet 
somehow,  dearly  as  I  loved  them  all,  I  could  hear  but  one  tone 
as  my  brother  lifted  me  gently  into  the  carriage — could  see  but 
one  face  as  I  leaned  my  head  upon  his  breast  and  sobbed  like  a 
child  at  leaving  the  home  of  the  past  few  years.  There  was  a 
sudden  turn  in  the  road,  and  I  caught  the  last  glimpse  of  the  dear 


old  house ;  there  was  a  sad,  sweet  face  looking  eagerly  from  the 
music-room,  and  as  I  waved  my  hand  a  kiss  was  wafted  to  me — 
when  all  was  hidden. 

"  Come,  tell  me  about  this  friend  you  seem  to  love  so  much/ ' 
said  my  brother,  wishing  to  make  me  forget  my  sorrow ;  and  as 
we  drove  silently  through  the  dim  forest,  or  wound  by  the  river's 
side,  he  listened  to  her  simple  story.  It  was  very  simple — the 
history  of  a  quiet  country  maiden,  with  a  refined  mind,  a  loving 
heart,  and  exquisite  child-like  beauty  of  face  and  feature.  We 
had  been  class-mates  for  three  years,  though  she  was  by  more 
than  a  twelvemonth  my  junior.  She  was  ambitious,  strange  as 
it  may  seem,  and  it  was  a  worthy  ambition.  Her  home  —  how 
often  she  had  described  it  to  me  ! — numbered  but  three  in  their 
household  bonds  when  she,  the  bird  of  that  sheltering  nest,  was 
away.  Her  father,  serene  and  noble,  in  the  evening  of  life ;  her 
mother,  younger  by  ten  years,  a  busy  and  notable  housekeeper ; 
and  their  son,  older  than  Sophie,  a  fine  specimen  of  the  New 
England  farmer.  Sophie,  the  pet,  the  darling,  was,  by  the  advice 
of  their  good  friend  the  clergyman  of  their  little  village,  to 
become  a  teacher.  He  saw  that,  child  as  she  was,  there  were 
talents  undeveloped  which  would  make  her  a  noble  woman ;  and 
he  thought  these  should  not  be  hidden.  Yet  it  needed  much 
persuasion  ere  the  parents  could  be  made  to  view  the  subject  as 
he  did.  A.t  length  his  object  was  gained  and  Sophie  was  sent  to 
school — not  to  be  made  a  fine  lady,  but  a  noble  woman,  who  was 
to  assume  the  responsible  station  of  a  teacher  of  younger  minds 
and  hearts  when  her  own  should  have  received  sufficient  culture. 

I  was  hundreds  of  miles  from  my  own  loved  home — a  stranger 
among  strangers — when  I  first  knew  Sophie  Ellis ;  and  we  loved 
each  other  as  sisters  for  many  terms  of  school-girl  life.  First  to 


leave  the  shelter  we  had  found,  I  have  told  you  how  I  parted 
with  her;  and  surprise  is  too  tame  a  word  to  express  the  emo- 
tions with  which  I  read  her  first  letter  when  scarce  two  months 
had  elapsed. 

"I  do  not  know  how  to  tell  you — but  I  am  not  going  to  be  a 

teacher  after  all ;  I  am to  be  —  married  in  the  spring, 


No  wonder  aunt  Mary  looked  up  in  astonishment  as  I  dropped 
the  letter  from  my  hands  with  a  cry  almost  like  fright. 

"  Sophie  Ellis,  aunt ! "  said  I — "  Sophie  is  going  to  be  mar- 
ried, and  she  is  full  a  year  younger  than  I." 

Aunt  smiled :  "  And  you  are  almost  seventeen.  I  was  a 
wife  at  your  age." 

"  And  did  you  never  regret  going  from  home  so  early  ?  " 

"I  have  wondered  at  my  daring  to  assume  then  the  many 
duties  of  a  married  life,  though  I  can  truly  say  regret  has 
never  mingled  with  that  wonder.  Few  find  such  love  as  has 
been  my  portion,  and  from  what  you  have  told  me  of  your 
friend,  I  fear  she  is  but  seeking  sorrow.  We  will  not  prophesy 
evil,"  she  added,  seeing  the  disconcerted  glances  with  which  I 

Mr.  Edgar,  of  whom  Nell  Stetson  had  spoken  so  lightly,  was 
the  chosen  one.  Little  did  I  think  how  true  were  her  words 
when  she  playfully  bade  Sophie  smooth  her  curls  at  his  approach. 
We  had  known  him  then  scarce  a  month,  though  his  sister  had 
been  our  classmate  for  a  year  or  more.  I  did  not  like  her  — 
why,  I  could  scarcely  tell,  unless  it  was  for  the  haughty  manner 
she  sometimes  assumed.  Though  very  beautiful,  wealthy,  and 
clever,  she  was  not  half  as  well  beloved  as  our  darling  Sophie, 
who,  as  the  old  song  runs,  had  but  her  face  as  her  fortune.  I 


have  seen  Laura  Edgar's  fine  eye  flash  and  her  red  lips  curl  as 
she  said,  "  I  should  not  be  an  Edgar  if  I  were  not  proud ! "  then 
with  her  tall,  queenly  form,  one  might  have  thought  her  "  born 
for  a  coronet;"  and  indeed  we  had  always  called  her  "the 
countess''  in  our  little  gatherings.  Her  brother  was  like  her  in 
person,  and  I  found  also  in  heart,  though  he  was  not  yet  old 
enough  to  curb  pleasure  that  he  might  indulge  his  pride.  Beauty 
he  worshipped ;  and  when  he  came  to  pay  his  sister  a  visit  in 
our  secluded  valley,  he  lingered  away  the  summer  month  usually 
passed  at  Newport  or  Saratoga,  charmed,  as  he  averred,  by  the 
mountain  scenery,  but  as  it  now  proved  by  the  softer  loveliness 
of  our  favourite.  I  did  not  wish  to  join  in  what  my  aunt  had 
said,  but  as  I  thought  over  all  this,  and  recalled  his  proverbially 
unstable  character — his  youth,  for  he  had  scarcely  attained  his 
majority,  I  could  not  but  acknowledge  there  was  a  cloud  hidden 
in  the  present  brightness  of  the  horizon. 

Then  too,  Sophie,  though  graceful  a.nd  winning,  knew  nothing 
of  the  great  world  in  which  she  now  must  mingle.  Nothing  of 
its  forms,  its  restraints,  and  the  cold,  proud  nature  of  the  circle 
to  which  she  would  be  introduced,  where  every  word  is  measured 
ere  spoken,  each  thought  veiled  for  the  sake  of  courtesy  until  it 
almost  becomes  deceit. 

Poor  Sophie ! 

Nearly  three  years  had  passed,  and  I  too  was  a  bride.  Happy  ? 
Yes !  "  blessed  beyond  the  limit  of  my  wildest  dreams ! "  and 
on  my  way  to  a  new  residence,  I  passed  a  few  bright  days  in  the 
great  metropolis  which  was  the  home  of  Sophie  Edgar,  now  long 
a  wife.  We  had  not  met  during  that  time,  and  of  late  our  cor- 


respondence  had  been  neglected,  as  both  entered  a  round  of  new 
duties  and  pleasures. 

The  last  strains  of  a  beautiful  overture  were  dying  away 
through  the  vast  dome  of  the  crowded  theatre,  as  I  leaned  for- 
ward eagerly,  for  a  party  entered  a  box  near  the  one  in  which 
we  were  seated,  and  a  familiar  face  was  the  brightest  of  that 
group.  It  was  indeed  familiar,  though  changed  —  so  changed ! 
No  longer  the  timid,  shrinking  maiden,  but  a  brilliant  woman. 
Sophie  was  before  me.  There  were  gems  flashing  from  her  beau- 
tiful arms,  and  wreathed  in  the  richly  braided  hair.  The  dress 
of  dark  velvet  heightened  by  contrast  a  pure,  glowing  complexion ; 
and  her  eyes  —  ay,  there  was  the  change  !  they  were  strangely 
lighted  with  a  fearful  brilliancy;  and  her  full,  red  lips  were 
wreathed  scornfully,  as  she  listened  to  the  idle  compliments  of 
the  tribe  by  which  she  was  surrounded.  At  first  I  could  scarce 
withdraw  my  gaze  from  her ;  but  as  the  play  went  on,  and  in- 
creased in  interest,  then  my  friend  was  forgotten.  It  was  the 
"  Hunchback ;"  and  as  I  traced  the  transformation  of  its  heroine 
from  a  warm-hearted  country  maiden,  to  the  cold,  haughty  woman 
of  fashion,  I  glanced  involuntarily  to  the  group  near  me — there 
was  so  much  of  truth  in  the  portrait.  I  was  recognized ;  a  bril- 
liant colour  flitted  to  her  cheek ;  a  start,  a  smothered  exclama- 
tion ;  then  that  strange  creature  forced  her  eyes  upon  the  stage, 
as  if  quite  regardless  of  my  presence. 

"I  called  yon — Clifford  ;  and  you  called  me — madam  /" 

The  words  fell  mournfully  upon  my  ear,  as  the  humbled  and 

penitent  Julia  feels  the  bitterness  of  her  own  rash  act.     And 

Sophie — I  might  have  been  deceived,  but  at  least  I  fancied  that 

a  look  of  agony  passed  over  her  face  —  yes,  I  must  have  been 



deceived,  for  as  the  curtain  fell,  her  tone  came  gaily  to  my  ear, 
as  she  addressed  words  of  playful  badinage  to  her  companion. 

As  we  pressed  through  the  crowded  lobby,  I  felt  my  hand 
grasped^ quickly;  and  turning,  Sophie  was  beside  me. 

"  Tell  me  where  I  can  find  you,  Annie,"  said  she,  hurriedly, 
without  one  word  of  greeting. 

I  had  scarce  time  to  reply,  ere  the  crowd  swept  forward,  and 
we  were  again  separated. 

A  strange,  sad  mood  came  over  me,  as  I  sat  the  next  morning 
looking  out  upon  the  crowds  that  thronged  Broadway;  a  lone 
foreboding  of  evil,  such  as  I  have  often  felt,  and  never  that  it  has 
not  proved  a  prophecy.  Something  whispered,  "  when  next  you 
look  upon  this  busy  scene,  joy  will  have  ended  in  mourning." 
I  was  fast  yielding  to  tears,  under  the  influence  of  that  desolate 
emotion,  when  Sophie  was  announced.  Nay,  but  for  the  sweet 
mouth,  the  liquid  eyes,  I  never  should  have  recognized  my  old 
schoolmate.  The  brilliant  belle  of  the  evening  threw  herself  on 
the  sofa  beside  me,  and  burying  her  face  in  her  folded  arms,  burst 
into  a  passion  of  tears.  As  of  old — for  I  had  often  soothed  the 
young  girl's  sorrow  —  I  drew  her  to  my  heart,  but  I  could  offer 
no  word  of  comfort, — could  only  weep  with  her 

Suddenly  she  threw  aside  my  circling  arm,  and,  starting  to  her 
feet,  the  rich  mantle  which  enveloped  her  fell  aside,  revealing  a 
figure  so  slight,  that  I  started  with  wonder  that  aught  earthly 
could  be  so  fragile. 

Her  face,  too,  was  wan  and  colourless  in  the  morning  light, 
save  the  deep  flush  of  the  hollow  cheek ;  that,  and  the  unearthly 
light  of  her  full,  gleaming  eyes,  betrayed  a  mournful  secret. 

"Look  at  me,  Annie/'  she  said;  "look  at  your  old  friend; 
three  years  have  wrought  a  wondrous  change,  have  they  not  ?  Do 


you  remember  our  parting — the  still,  calm  twilight — the  melody 
from  all  around  that  went  up  on  the  evening  air  ?  And  I,  so 
pure — I  was  pure,  Annie — so  free  from  care;  now  I  daily  thank 
God  that  I  am  dying;  dying/'  she  murmured  again,  very  bit- 

"  Sophie,  do  not  speak  so ;  you  are  too  young,  too  good ;  what 
has  pained  and  excited  you  this  morning  ?  come,  tell  me  all,  as 
in  our  old  school-days;  it  will  calm  you." 

"  Yes,  I  will  tell  you  all — all,  though  it  is  known  but  to  God 
and — my  husband."  She  knelt  beside  me,  and  passing  my  arm 
about  her  waist,  looked  up  with  a  searching,  almost  imploring 
gaze.  "  Though  I  have  suffered,  I  have  never  complained/'  she 
said.  "  "What  I  say  to  you  now  is  but  a  message ;  you  must  tell 
my  poor  mother,  when  I  am  gone,  the  fate  of  her  darling.  My 
mother  loved  me — all  did  at  home,  did  they  not  ?  No  one  loves 
me  here." 

"  Sophie,"  said  I,  startled  at  her  vehemence,  "  do  not  tell  mo 
this;  who  could  help  loving  you,  my  bird?" 

"  Do  not  call  me  that ;  it  was  his  name  for  me  once ;  and  I  do 
not  like  to  hear  it  from  other  lips.  You  remember  that  I  told 
you  change  would  be  deatftto  me;  even  so  it  has  proved.  But 
I  will  be  more  calm.  I  met  Harold  Edgar,  as  you  know.  I  was 
young — he  so  intelligent,  so  gentlemanly,  so  winning.  He  was 
the  first  who  ever  addressed  me  —  the  first  who  told  me  I  was 
beautiful.  He  did  not  say  so,  but  his  eyes,  his  attentions  whis- 
pered it.  So,  Annie,  I  was  flattered,  interested ;  then  I  forgot 
myself  in  the  delight  I  felt  at  his  presence.  I  watched  for  his 
coming  with  a  heart  thrilling  at  every  footstep ;  I  counted  the 
hours  of  his  absence,  for  they  pressed  like  years.  Then  he  told 
me  that  he  loved  me,  he  prayed  me  to  love  him;  how  could  I 


refuse  that  request,  when  my  whole  being  had  unconsciously  loug 
been  bound  up  in  his  ?  '  Love  you  ! '  I  murmured ;  it  seemed  to 
me  like  a  dream,  that  he,  so  very  beautiful,  so  manly,  so  warm- 
hearted, could  love  one  like  myself. 

"  "When  we  parted  that  night,  I  was  in  heart  betrothed  to  him, 
though  I  waited  until  my  father  and  mother  had  seen  and  ap- 
proved my  choice,  ere  I  consented  to  be  his  wife.  Approved,  I 
said;  my  mother  was  flattered  by  his  station,  his  wealth,  his 
bearing.  God  is  my  witness,  I  thought  but  of  himself,  and  the 
priceless  treasure  of  his  affection.  My  father  did  not  seem  quite 
pleased.  '  You  are  both  young,'  he  said;  'my  child  is  ignorant 
of  the  world,  its  forms  and  influences.  Are  you  sure  you  will 
not  weary  of  her  simplicity,  or  blush  for  her  little  knowledge  of 
the  society  in  which  you  mingle  ? ' 

"  Harold  looked  as  if  he  thought  my  father  was  beside  him- 
self. t  Ashamed  of  Sophie  ! '  he  answered,  warmly.  '  She  has 
more  natural  grace  than  they  all;  she  might  be  their  teacher.' 

"  My  father  smiled  at  his  enthusiasm,  and  I  blushed  deeply  at 
his  praise.  At  last  father  ceased  to  oppose  Harold  and  my  mother, 
but  Philip  was  not  so  easily  satisfied. 

"'It's  all  well  enough  now,'  he  <^ould  say,  'but  wait  until 
the  novelty  has  worn  off  a  little  —  till  he  gets  back  to  his  horses 
and  his  high  company.  I  don't  mean  to  say  he  doesn't  love  you, 
pet,  for  anybody  that  you  loved  couldn't  help  it.  But  it's  not 
my  sort  of  love.  You  'd  better  stay  with  us,  than  go  among  those 
city  people,  with  their  fine  houses  and  cold  hearts.  You  know 
old  friends,  but  new  ones  you  cannot  trust.' 

"  So  you  see  I  was  warned  fully,  but  I  would  not  listen.  How 
could  I  dream  of  change  ?  for  he  seemed  so  devoted  to  me,  so 
miserable  when  away,  so  happy  at  my  side.  I  grew  selfish  in  my 


affection  for  him — it  absorbed  all  other  love,  all  other  friendship. 
His  image  came  between  me  and  my  Grod.  We  were  married. 
I  need  not  tell  you,  who  are  now  so  blessed,  the  happiness  of  the 
long,  long  summer  ramble  that  we  made,  lingering,  as  fancy 
prompted,  among  the  beautiful  valleys  and  by  the  silver  lakes 
of  dear  New  England.  Autumn  came,  and  I  passed  a  week  at 
my  own  home  ere  going  to  my  husband's.  How  I  smiled  at 
Philip's  fears!  Harold,  too,  jested  at  his  wise  advice;  but  the 
time  was  not  yet  come.  I  had  received  a  costly  gift  from  Mrs. 
Edgar,  another  from  Harold's  sister,  just  after  my  marriage; 
they  came  with  a  letter  of  congratulation,  which  seemed  cold  and 
formal ;  but  I  knew  Laura  Edgar,  and  you,  too,  Annie,  remember 
how  haughty  she  was :  so  I  was  not  surprised,  and  listened  in 
blind  confidence  to  my  husband's  assurances  that  all  his  friends 
would  be  mine. 

"  You  know  my  natural  timidity  and  shrinking  from  strange 
associations.  I  came  here  expecting  to  be  met  as  a  sister  and 
child.  I  was  welcomed  with  frigid  politeness,  and  the  love  which 
had  been  rising  in  my  heart  was  utterly  crushed.  For  a  time  I 
was  wilfully  blind  to  the  truth  which  would  rise  before  me.  I 
knew  at  length  that  I  was  considered  as  an  intruder  not  only  in 
my  husband's  family,  but  also  in  the  haughty  and  aristocratic 
circle  they  drew  around  them.  They  were  ever  courteous  to 
me  —  coldly,  rigidly  so ;  but  my  heart  was  chilled,  my  life  daily 
embittered  by  the  knowledge  that  Harold's  marriage  was  freely 
spoken  of  as  a  mesalliance.  And  Harold,  how  could  he  but 
know  this  ?  I  cannot  blame  him  that  he  became  less  fond  —  that 
he  was  drawn  away  from  one  whom  others  regarded  coldly.  He 
had  been  accustomed  to  consider  the  opinion  of  that  clique  as 
law  from  his  earliest  youth.  Though  at  first  he  clung  to  me 


perhaps  more  closely,  for  the  reason  that  others  avoided  me,  he 
was  young,  you  know,  Annie,  and  easily  swayed  by  strong  in- 
fluences. It  was  perhaps  my  fault,  in  a  great  measure,  that  he 
was  so  often  away  from  me ;  for  I  childishly  refused  to  mingle 
with  those  who  I  knew  but  suffered  my  society,  and  withdrew 
from  all  to  cherish  an  upspringing  regret  at  my  hasty  rejection 
of  childhood's  love  and  sympathy. 

"  My  husband's  coldness  toward  me  did  not  arise  at  once;  he 
struggled  against  it,  I  am  sure.  But  how  could  he  devote  him- 
self to  my  solitary  hours  ?  how  could  he  but  be  vexed  that  I 
would  not  go  into  the  world — his  world?  At  first  I  did  not  re- 
proach him — I  have  never  reproached  him  in  words — by  being 
sad  in  his  presence.  I  tried  to  interest  him  more  than  ever,  but 
when  I  knew  that  my  society  grew  irksome,  I  ceased  to  caress  or 
seek  for  caresses ;  though  oftentimes,  when  he  has  coldly  bid  me 
farewell  —  for  days,  sometimes  weeks  he  was  absent  —  I  could 
have  knelt  at  his  feet  with  the  wild  idolatry  which  sprang  to  my 
lips,  praying  him  to  love  me  as  of  old.  I  would  have  been  his 
slave,  had  he  thought  me  unworthy  to  be  his  wife  —  his  humble 
slave,  so  that  I  might  live  in  his  presence,  and  sometimes  see 
the  sunlight  of  his  smile.  This  is  but  the  truth — the  happiness 
of  days  sprang  from  a  kiss  once  given  with  a  gleam  of  his  former 
affection  —  a  smile  of  the  old  love  would  make  me  weep  like  a 
child,  and  in  my  solitude,  recalling  that  glance,  my  whole  frame 
has  trembled  with  thrilling  joy. 

At  home  they  have  never  known  that  he  was  ever  less  devoted 
than  at  first.  I  have  seen  them  but  once  since  that  first  happy 
visit,  and  then  we  were  both  actors,  for  I  prayed  him  to  spare  me 
that  trial  —  to  let  them  be  deceived  with  the  thought  their  evil 


forebodings  were  folly ;  but  alas,  I  felt  too  keenly,  each  moment, 
that  they  were  fully  realized. 

At  length  I  made  a  desperate  resolve  that  I  would  become  a 
leader  in  the  circle  that  had  despised  me.  I  knew  that  I  had 
talent ;  grace  and  ease  I  could  acquire ;  I  had  grown  more  beau- 
tiful in  my  seclusion.  I  do  not  say  this  vainly;  I  debated  all 
calmly,  and  weighed  it  but  as  a  means  of  my  woman's  revenge. 
It  is  just  a  year  since  I  threw  aside  the  timidity  and  coldness  of 
my  manner.  I  mingled  in  society — shaped  my  deeds,  my  words 
to  their  hollow  forms.  None  wondered  more  than  Harold  at  the 
change ;  and  at  first,  when  he  saw  me  nattered  and  sought  for — 
for  I  succeeded  in  that — I  was  playing  for  a  desperate  stake,  my 
husband's  love,  and  it  gave  me  strength  —  he  seemed  disposed  to 
join  in  the  homage  so  freely  offered.  Then  —  shall  I  whisper  it 
even  to  you?  —  he  grew  jealous  of  the  butterflies  that  hovered 
constantly  about  me ;  he  did  not  know  that  I  would  gladly  have 
turned  from  all  to  have  rested  in  his  confidence  and  love ;  that 
one  word  of  praise  from  his  lips  was  far  dearer  than  all  offered 
homage.  He  thought  my  nature  perverted — my  heart  changed. 
And  I  was  proud — proud  in  my  misery.  I  scorned  to  explain — 
I  felt  that  he  should  have  known  my  motives  better  —  that  I 
sought  the  stamp  of  their  approval  only  that  he  deemed  it 

You  saw  last  night  what  my  life  has  become — so  day  after  day 
passes ;  cold  formality  at  home  —  home  !  —  and  triumphs  which 
I  despise  when  abroad.  But  I  am  wearing  out,  Annie,  fast,  fast. 
Put  your  hand  upon  my  heart  —  closer  —  there — can  you  count 
its  throbbings  ?  It  is  often  thus ;  and  again  all  pulsation  will 
seem  to  cease.  It  will  be  silent  enough  soon." 

"  Sophie  !    Sophie  !   do   not  speak   so  bitterly  ! "  I   sobbed : 


"  You  deceive  yourself — you  have  done  wrong.    There  are  many 
bright  days  for  you,  darling.     Your  husband  cannot  be  heartless 

—  you  will  win  him  yet/' 

"  Heartless !  did  you  dare  to  say  my  husband  was  heartless  ? 
No,  no  Lhe  should  have  wedded  one  iu  his  own  sphere;  the  dove, 
you  remember,  in  the  old  Latin  fable,  could  not  soar  to  the 
eagle's  nest,  even  though  supported  by  his  stronger  pinion.  The 
fluttering  wings  broke  the  feeble  heart.  How  happy  we  were, 
sitting  in  the  dim  wood  and  reading  line  by  line  that  simple  tale  ! 
Little  did  I  dream  it  would  be  my  fate." 

She  had  sunk  quite  at  my  feet  ere  her  story  ended,  and  the 
velvet  folds  of  her  mantle  formed  the  cushion  on  which  she 
rested.  Poor  crushed  flower  crouching  there  in  very  hopeless- 
ness !  her  thin  hands  tightly  clasped,  till  the  jewels,  which 
mocked  their  paleness,  seemed  almost  buried  in  the  slender  fingers. 
Her  curls  were  dishevelled,  yet  soft  and  light,  and  they  lay  about 
her  face  caressingly,  as  the  poor  heart's  rapid  pulse  had  sent  a 
crimson  glow  to  the  lips  and  to  the  cheeks.  Never  had  I  seen 
her  more  beautiful — so  wildly  brilliant  were  those  large,  full  eyes 

—  so  graceful  that  fragile  form. 

There  was  a  well-known  step  upon  the  stairs;  I  started,  and 
Sophie  rose,  hastily  gathering  the  rich  drapery  around  her. 
"  Come  to  me  very  soon  —  before  you  leave  —  to-morrow  I  shall 
be  at  liberty  " — and  she  glided  from  the  room.  I  saw  her  enter 
the  costly  equipage  that  had  waited  so  long  for  its  mistress ;  the 
liveried  servant  bowed  low,  the  noble  steeds  sprang  forward,  and 
in  a  moment  had  borne  her  from  my  sight. 

Two  days  had  passed;  a  violent  storm  of  driving  rain  and 
sleet  prevented  my  fulfilling  out-door  engagements ;  and  as  the 


clouds  parted  on  the  morning  of  the  third,  my  first  impulse  was 
to  return  Sophie's  call. 

"  The  carriage  is  waiting,  madam,"  said  the  servant,  as  he 
handed  me  a  note.  It  was  without  an  envelope ;  the  address,  in 
a  hand  I  had  never  seen  before,  was  traced  so  hurriedly  as  to  be 
scarcely  legible.  The  date  was  two  days  previous  —  and  at 
length  I  deciphered  the  nervous  and  blotted  scrawl. 

"  Come  to  me,  Annie,  if  you  can.  I  am  not  well  to-day ; 
perhaps  the  time  I  have  longed  for  has  arrived.  My  heart  throbs 
so  wildly  that  I  can  scarce  guide  the  pen,  and  my  hand  is  so 
weak  that" 

Underneath  was  a  single  line,  still  more  illegible,  in  the  same 
hand  as  the  address. 

"  You  were  once  my  poor  Sophie's  friend  —  come  to  her  now. 
God  knows  she  needs  friends !  I,  who  have  killed  her,  say  it 

"What  can  this  mean?  Why  was  the  note  not  delivered 
yesterday?  Order  the  carriage  directly,"  I  almost  gasped. 
Forgetful  of  time  or  place,  I  saw  nothing  of  the  crowd  as  we 
dashed  through  Broadway ;  the  din  of  labour  and  pleasure  arose 
around  me  unheeded;  the  cessation  of  the  rapid  speed  alone 
aroused  me  as  we  reached  Waverley  Place.  I  could  scarce 
believe  it,  yet  it  was  even  so ;  the  closed  shutters,  the  funeral 
crape  fluttering  and  eddying  in  the  bleak  wind  from  the  door  of 
the  lordly  mansion  upon  whose  threshold  I  stood,  revealed,  with- 
out a  word,  the  terrible  truth.  I  was  ushered  into  the  dark  and 
silent  rooms,  whose  costly  furniture  and  glowing  carpets  seemed 
but  a  mockery.  The  veiled  mirrors  gave  back  no  reflection  — • 
the  cautious  tread  of  the  servants,  no  echo.  Oh  !  the  terror,  the 
chilling  apathy  which  came  over  my  heart  as  I  sat  there  listening 


to  its  beating!      It  was  fearfully  distinct  in   that  house   of 

"  This  way,  if  you  please,  madam ;"  and  I  followed  the  young 
girl  who  roused  me  from  that  mood.  Never  shall  I  forget  the 
scene  which  greeted  me  as  I  entered  an  apartment  decorated  with 
no  less  care  and  taste  than  those  I  had  just  left.  The  winter 
sun  stole  struggling  through  the  half-closed  blinds,  and  lingering 
in  the  crimson  curtains,  sent  a  faint,  rosy  flush  through  the  room. 
The  gilded  cornices,  the  velvet  couches,  a  snowy  statue  gleaming 
in  the  twilight  of  a  distant  recess  —  and  there,  in  the  centre  of 
all  that  luxury,  lay  the  being  for  whom  it  had  been  gathered — 
pale,  lifeless  —  the  seal  of  death  upon  the  sweet  mouth,  the 
smile  of  an  eternal  rest  upon  the  calm,  pure  forehead.  There 
was  no  pain,  no  suffering  there,  darling  Sophie !  no  discord  to 
torture  the  loving  heart  —  those  eyes  were  never  more  to  be 
blinded  by  tears !  But  one  knelt  by  that  silent  couch,  whose 
anguish  gave  wild  contrast  to  its  dreamless  repose.  Alas  for 
thee,  proud  man,  that  the  flower  perished  on  thy  bosom !  its  life 
and  beauty  were  yielded  to  thee  as  a  guardian,  not  as  a  destroyer ! 
Hide  it  as  thou  wilt,  seek  to  banish  it  as  thou  mayst,  there  is  a 
secret  remorse  that  will  cling  to  thee  through  life ;  that  hour, 
that  room,  beheld  its  first  agony. 

Hours  —  yes,  I  am  sure  hours  passed,  before  a  word  was 
spoken.  I  could  but  kneel  beside  the  couch,  and  yield  to  an 
agony  of  tears,  as  I  recalled  the  brief  existence  of  my  poor  friend. 
The  pet  of  a  household  where  she  had  been  nurtured  in  love, 
dying  far  from  home  —  perhaps  alone  in  the  dark  hour.  Not 
alone,  as  I  learned  when  at  length  my  hand  was  grasped  by 
Harold  Edgar,  and  he  poured  out  to  me,  as  the  friend  of  his 
poor  wife,  the  bitterness  of  his  heart.  He  told  me  how  he  hud 


wooed  her  from  her  quiet  home ;  that  intoxicated  with  her 
beauty,  and  delighted  with  the  simple  earnestness  of  her  nature 
— so  different  from  the  formal  circles  by  which  he  had  ever  been 
surrounded — he  did  not  pause  to  think  that  affluence  might  prove 
a  blighting  atmosphere  to  one  so  differently  nurtured.  He  had 
rejected  the  counsel  of  her  parents — the  sneers  and  remonstrances 
of  his  own  made  him  but  the  more  determined  j  so  he  called 
her  his  own,  and  for  a  time  there  came  no  shadow  to  their  young 

I  will  not  again  recall  the  sorrowful  story  of  their  estrange- 
ment. Sophie  had  told  me  the  truth ;  but  with  woman's  shield- 
ing devotion,  she  had  touched  too  lightly  on  her  own  wrongs. 
How  was  that  proud  spirit  humbled  as  he  recounted  the  effect 
of  his  own  misdeeds  —  of  his  neglect  —  and,  worse  than  all,  the 
blinding  jealousy  which  had  goaded  him  to  add  insulting 
reproaches,  and  even  taunts,  to  the  sum  of  misery  her  gentle 
nature  had  already  endured. 

"  I  did  not  deserve  her  love  —  I  had  no  right  to  the  holy  for- 
giveness which  her  last  word,  her  last  look,  breathed.  She  told 
me  all,  when  my  repentance  was  too  late ;  when  my  poor  victim" 
— and  he  struck  his  forehead  wildly — "  was  beyond  the  reach  of 
reparation.  God  will  not  forgive  me  as  she  did  —  I  can  never 
pardon  my  own  cruelty." 

Thus  raved  the  once  cold,  proud  Harold  Edgar ;  and  thus  I 
gathered,  through  his  self-reproach,  and  through  his  agony,  that 
Sophie  had  died  upon  his  breast,  with  her  arm  clasped  tenderly 
about  him.  Oh,  the  endurance,  the  long-suffering  of  woman's 
holy  affection  —  forbearance  in  life,  forgiveness  of  wrong  in  the 
death  hour. 

The  shadows  of  evening  rested  on  the  calm  forehead  of  the 


sleeper,  when  I  pressed  my  lips  for  the  last  time  upon  the  sweet 
mouth  which  was  now  so  coldly  rigid.  That  bright  head  that 
had  so  often  rested  near  my  heart,  was  soon  to  be  hidden  for  ever 
from  the  light  of  day;  the  thin  hands,  clasped  upon  the  icy 
breast,  would  never  more  be  loosened ;  the  marriage-ring  glittered 
through  that  clasping,  at  once  the  author  and  symbol  of  her 
misery.  So  I  left  them  —  the  young  bride  of  Death,  and  the 
heart-stricken  watcher — 

"  To  the  lonely  marriage  pillow,  and  the  tears  which  he  must  weep." 

As  I  trod  silently  through  the  desolate  splendour  which  sur- 
rounded me,  marked  the  tokens  of  wealth  and  taste  glittering 
upon  every  side,  and  then  returned  in  thought  to  the  scene  I  had 
just  beheld,  verily,  I  thought — 

"  'T  is  better  to  be  lowly  born, 

And  range  with  humble  livers  in  content, 
Than  to  be  perk'd  up  with  a  glittering  grief} 
And  wear  a  golden  sorrow." 

TOO    LATE  ! 

"  I  have  outlived  all  love." — Bulwer's  Richelieu. 

OH  !  weary  thought !     Oh  !  heart  cast  down  and  lone ! 

Oh  !  hopeless  spirit !  —  burdened  with  a  grief 
That  giveth  utterance  to  the  mournful  tone 

Of  this  low  murmur  —  words  so  full  —  so  brief — 
"Outlived  all  love." 

Did  God  deny  thee  gifts  by  which  to  win 

Affection  from  the  crowd  that  'round  thee  throng  ? 

Or  didst  thou  lose,  by  folly  or  by  sin, 

The  hope  that  else  had  made  thy  soul  most  strong, 
Of  gaining  love? 

"When  first  thy  mother  clasped  thee  in  her  arms, 
And  bade  thy  father  watch  thine  infant  glee — 

Why  did  her  soul  thrill  with  such  wild  alarms, 
And  bounding  hopes  ?    Was  it  not  all  for  thee  ? 
Did  not  she  love? 

Childhood  mourns  not  for  friends.     It  passed  away  — 

Then  on  Ihyself  depended  future  joy. 
Retrace  thy  footsteps,  did  those  friends  betray 

The  trust  bestowed  by  thee  —  a  fair-browed  boy  — 
Living  in  love? 

25  (289> 

290  TOO    LATE. 

Nay — one  by  one  they  turned  —  thy  heart  was  proud, 
Thy  mood  suspicious,  and  they  could  not  brook 

The  coldness,  and  reserve,  that  as  a  cloud 

Veiled  all  thy  movements,  chilling  every  look 
That  asked  for  love. 

Thy  manhood  pride  was  glorious  —  it  is  past ; 

Ambition's  thirst  is  slaked ;  —  a  dreary  void 
Taketh  the  place  of  schemes  that  once  so  fast 

Hurried  thee  onward ;  life  and  thought  employed, 
Shutting  out  love. 

Too  late — too  late !     Thou  canst  not  win  them  back — 
The  friends  of  youth ;  the  love  of  riper  years. 

Alone,  pass  onward  in  the  narrow  track 

Which  thou  hast  chosen — learn  with  bitter  tears, 
That  man  needs  love. 

'Tis  God's  best  gift  —  be  wise,  and  scorn  it  not, 
Thou  who  art  strong  in  pride  of  hope  and  life. 

The  brightest  gleam  that  gilds  our  darkened  lot, 
Lighting  us  onward  through  its  fearful  strife  — 
Oh  !  priceless  love ! 

And  if  thy  soul  is  steeled  against  mankind, 
Pause — ere  thy  heart  grows  cold  and  desolate. 

Cheer  those  who  droop  —  the  wounded  spirit  bind  — 
Win  hearts,  and  it  shall  never  be  thy  fate 
To  outlive  love. 




"  Deal  gently  thou,  whose  hand  hast  won 

The  young  bird  from  its  nest  away, 
Where  careless,  'neath  a  vernal  sun, 

She  gayly  carolled  day  by  day. 
Deal  gently  with  her ;  thou  art  dear, 
Beyond  what  vestal  lips  have  told, 
And  like  a  lamb  from  fountains  clear, 
She  turns  confiding  to  thy  fold. 


NDEED,  Laura,  you  must  come  and  dine  with 
us ;  I  shall  take  no  denial.     We  shall  be  quite 
i"  /    alone,  in  our  own  room,  and  you  need  see  no 

one.     Urge  her,  Louis." 
"  "We  should  be  most  happy  to  see  you,  Mrs.  Lawton.    I  have 
heard  Marian  speak  of  you  so  often,  that  I  feel  as  if  we  were 
quite  old  friends  ;  and  I  was  just  regretting  that  our  short  stay 
would  not  allow  us  to  meet  you  again." 

"  I  never  could  resist  Marian's  pleading,"  said  Mrs.  Lawton, 
pressing  the  little  hand  she  held.  "Yes,  I  will  come;  for  I 
cannot  tell  when  we  may  meet  again." 

Marian  flew  down  the  steps  like  a  child,  and,  as  her  tall,  grave 


292  THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS. 

companion  landed  her  into  the  carriage,  he  said,  "  To  the  Irving 
House;  "  and  they  were  gone. 

It  was  scarce  an  hour  after,  that  Mrs.  Lawton  was  ushered 
into  a  private  parlour  of  the  crowded  hotel,  and  found  Marian 
there  alone  waiting  to  receive  her. 

"  Oh  !  I  am  so  glad  you  are  come,  Laura,  darling !  I  wanted 
to  see  you  again.  I  have  a  thousand  things  to  say ;  things  I 
could  not  say  before  Louis.  First  of  all,  let  me  tell  you  how 
good  and  kind  he  is.  Oh !  nobody  knows  but  his  little  wife  how 
noble,  how  generous,  how  charming ! " 

Mrs.  Lawton  smiled  as  she  laid  her  bonnet  on  the  pier-table ; 
but  it  was  a  sad  smile ;  for  she  caught  sight  of  the  dark  dress 
she  was  even  yet  unaccustomed  to. 

"  I  have  no  doubt,  Marie,  that  you  think  so,  and  that  others 
think  so,  too;  but  how  long  have  you  known  him?  I  had 
scarce  heard  of  your  engagement  when  your  marriage  was 

"  Oh,  that  was  to  please  Louis.  He  was  ill  at  uncle's  last — 
let  me  see  —  last  September ;  and  I  was  there.  Oh  !  he  was  so 
patient  after  he  left  his  room,  and  I " 

"Yes;  and  you  nursed  the  convalescent?" 

"  No ;  I  amused  him,  and  sang  to  him,  and  read,  and  brought 
him  flowers.  I  pitied  him,  you  know." 

"  Sympathetic  little  soul ! " 

"  You  need  not  smile,  Laura ;  I  did  not  dream  that  he  loved 
me  —  I  am  sure  I  did  not  —  and  then  it  was  all  passed  before  1 
knew  it.  Mamma  consented ;  and  uncle  said  it  was  such  an  ex- 
cellent match  —  he  always  thinks  of  such  things,  you  know  — 
and  Louis  said  he  must  not  be  away  from  home  in  the  winter, 
and  he  could  not  leave  me  among  the  mountains ;  and  though  I 

THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS.  293 

pouted,  mamma  and  he  arranged  it  all,  and  we  were  married 
thirteen  days  ago.  No ;  I  declare,  I  have  been  Mrs.  Musgrave — 
(don't  it  sound  odd  !) — two  whole  weeks  to-day." 

"  And  this  is  the  ninth  of  December.  Well,  they  gave  you 
very  little  time.  You  have  not  repented  it  yet  ?  " 

Mrs.  Lawton  spoke  half-jestingly;  yet  there  was  a  tone  of 
seriousness  in  the  apparent  badinage. 

"  Repented  !  —  0  no ;  and  never  shall.  Why  Louis  is  per- 
fection !  He  indulges  me  in  everything ;  he  calls  me  the  sweetest 
pet  names;  and  see  how  generous  he  is.  There"  —  and  the 
young  bride  turned  the  key  of  a  richly  inlaid  dressing-case,  and 
drew  forth  a  heavy  diamond  bracelet,  that  sparkled  and  flashed 
as  the  sunlight  fell  upon  its  snowy  velvet  cushion.  "  Is  not  that 
magnificent  ?  —  and  I  have  a  whole  set  —  ring,  brooch  —  every- 
thing !  It  was  his  bridal  gift." 

Mrs.  Lawton' s  lips  quivered,  and  a  tear  fell  upon  the  gems 
that  glittered  in  her  hand.  It  was  not  envy ;  ah  no,  at  least  not 
envy  of  the  costly  gifts,  which  were  lavished  upon  the  young 
creature  at  her  side.  But  all  this  while  memory  had  been  busy 
in  recalling  the  scenes  of  her  own  bridal,  and  how  she  too  had 
looked  forward  to  many,  many  years  of  uninterrupted  happiness. 
The  second  anniversary  had  not  come,  when  she  assumed  the 
sad  garb  of  the  widow.  It  was  no  wonder  that  she  was  sad  when 
she  saw  anticipations  so  brilliant,  and  a  heart  so  full  of  buoyant 
hope  as  her  own  had  been,  going  forth  to  meet  the  harsh  ex- 
periences of  life,  and  thought  how  coldly  that  might  fall,  and  that 
the  sorrow  would  be  heightened  by  its  unannounced  approach. 

But  she  could  not  bear  to  check  the  joyous  spirit  at  her  side 
with  the  dull  croakings  of  experience,  and  so  she  smiled  again 

294  THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS. 

that  same  sweet,  sad  smile  to  hear  the  little  "wife  set  forth  her 
husband's  praises. 

"  We  are  going  to  Washington  now,  Laura.  Do  you  remem- 
ber how  often  we  used  to  talk  about  it  at  school  ?  —  but  I  never 
expected  then  to  be  the  wife  of  such  a  distinguished  man.  Is  n't 
he  young  to  have  been  in  Congress  ? — though  he's  older  than  he 
looks  —  thirty-five  next  spring  —  would  you  guess  it  ?  " 

"  And  you  are  just  seventeen,  Marian." 

"Yes;  but  he's  so  young  in  heart,  you  know,  and  he 
never  seems  old.  Now  tell  me,  am  I  not  a  most  fortunate 

"  You  deserve  all  your  good  fortune,  Marie.  But  tell  me  .about 
his  family.  Have  you  seen  any  of  them  ?  " 

"Only  his  cousin  Harry,  who  was  one  of  our  attendants. 
His  sisters  could  not  go  so  far  in  the  winter ;  they  are  older  than 
Louis,  and  live  with  him.  Won't  it  be  nice  ?  I  shall  have  no 
bother  of  housekeeping.  We  go  back  to  Maple  Grove  in  Febru- 
ary, and  then  I  shall  see  them  all.  Louis  says  they  will  be  sure 
to  love  me." 

Mrs.  Lawton  wondered  if  any  one  could  help  it,  as  she  looked 
into  those  loving  eyes,  turned  with  eager  questioning  to  her  own ; 
and  yet — she  could  not  account  for  it — this  mention  of  Mr.  Mus- 
grave's  sisters,  and  their  tardiness  in  claiming  their  new  relative, 
had  somehow  made  her  uncomfortable. 

That  Marian  was  loved,  and  with  no  ordinary  affection,  by  her 
grave  and  stately  husband,  there  could  be  no  doubt.  The  smile 
with  which  he  greeted  her  on  his  entrance  soon  after,  the  glance 
of  undisguised  admiration  which  followed  her  fairy-like  move- 
ments, were  plain  interpreters  of  an  honest  heart. 

"And  now,"   said   Marian,   gayly,  as  a  servant  announced 

THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS.  295 

dinner,  "  see  how  I  shall  look  at  the  head  of  my  husband's  table. 
Must  I  be  demure,  Louis  ?  " 

Mrs.  Lawton  looked  up  at  the  same  moment,  and  fancied  that 
she  saw  a  shade  flit  across  his  face  at  these  words.  But  no,  it 
could  not  be ;  for  he  was  doing  the  honours  of  the  table  with  the 
most  finished  courtesy,  not  a  moment  afterwards,  and  smiling  at 
the  lively  sallies  of  Marian,  who  seemed  filled  with  the  very  spirit 
of  joyousness.  Her  trials  had  made  her  too  suspicious;  and  the 
young  widow  wondered  if  she  could  ever  have  been  so  gay,  so 
thoughtless  as  her  old  school-friend  now  was. 

"  Heaven  bless  you,  Marian ! "  she  said,  fervently,  as  they 
parted.  "  And  shield  you  from  the  bitterness  of  my  lot,"  she 
would  have  added ;  but  her  unselfish  nature  would  not  allow  the 
words  to  pass  her  lips,  lest  she  should  shadow  Marian's  fair  face. 

"  Thou  art  just,  my  FATHER/'  she  murmured,  as  she  walked 
homeward,  so  lonely  in  that  crowded  street.  "Yet  why,  0 
why  was  I  thus  chastened,  while  others  are  permitted  to  live  in 
the  sunshine  of  affection  ?  "  and  then  as  she  rebuked  this  rebel- 
lious emotion,  she  wondered  what  could  arise  to  sadden  the  light- 
heartedness  of  young  Marian ;  for  she  had  learned  thus  early, 
that  God  does  not  permit  unalloyed  happiness  to  those  whom  he 
loves,  lest  their  affection  should  be  devoted  to  this  world  and  its 




"  So  innocent-arch,  so  cunning-simple, 
From  beneath  her  gathered  whimple, 
Glancing  with  black-bearded  eyes, 
Till  the  lightning  laughters  dimple 
The  baby-roses  in  her  cheeks ; 
Then  away  she  flies." 


I ARIAN  had  spoken  the  truth,  when  she  said  she 
had  "amused"  Mr.  Musgrave.  The  peculiar 
and  unconscious  witcheries  of  her  voice  and 
manner  had  stolen  into  his  heart,  in  the  wearisome 
hours  of  convalesence  j  and  the  quiet,  retired  student,  who  had 
passed  unscathed  the  fire  of  four  winters  at  Washington,  found 
himself  loving — nay,  actually  engaged  to,  a  little  country  damsel 
to  whom  he  was  a  stranger  two  months  before.  If  he  had  at 
times  any  misgivings  as  to  the  suitableness  of  this  union,  they 
were  dispelled  by  the  charming  gaycty  of  Marian,  who,  though 
she  had  never  mingled  in  the  polished  circles  of  the  capital,  pos- 
sessed a  natural  grace  and  ladyhood  that  could  not  have  been 
improved  by  any  rules  of  art. 

That  she  loved  him  for  himself  alone,  undazzled  by  his  wealth 
and  position,  which  might  have  won  many  a  lady  fair,  he  did  not 
doubt.  She  hovered  around  him  like  a  bird;  she  sat  at  his  feet 
upon  a  low  cushion,  and  looked  up  in  the  pauses  of  the  poems 
which  she  read  to  him,  her  eyes  filled  with  tears  of  tenderness 
and  emotion,  as  she  found  her  own  love  interpreted  in  the  words 
of  the  poet. 


Oh,  it  was  a  glad  bright  dream,  that  lingering  convalescence, 
and  one  which  the  world-wearied  man  had  not  thought  could 
chain  his  heart.  So  he  won  her  to  himself,  for  he  felt  that  life 
would  be  dark  if  the  sunshine  of  her  presence  was  withdrawn; 
and  Marian  went  forth  trustingly,  for  what  was  existence  now 
away  from  him  ? 

He  did  not  ask  himself  if  he  was  doing  right,  in  withdraw- 
ing her  so  young,  and  so  affectionate,  from  the  shelter  of  home, 
to  be  the  companion  of  one  grown  old  in  enjoyment,  and  wearied 
of  life's  busy  scenes.  He  did  not  pause  to  test  his  love,  and  see 
if  it  was  strong  enough  to  guard  her,  even  from  her  self-delusions, 
when  she  should  be  ushered  into  the  world,  that  wore  so  smiling 
a  face  to  welcome  her  —  to  bear  with  her  childish  follies  when 
their  freshness  and  novelty  no  longer  amused  him.  He  believed 
that  a  strong  and  yet  hidden  inner  life  was  to  make  her  the 
companion  of  his  nobler  thoughts;  but  he  forgot  that  patient 
and  skilful  guidance  was  necessary  to  give  this  Undine  a  soul. 

She  became  a  star  at  "Washington ;  her  youth,  beauty,  and  posi- 
tion were  acknowledged.  How  proud  he  was  of  her,  as  he  watched 
her  graceful  form  float  through  the  dance,  while  he  stood  by  in 
serious  conversation  with  his  old  political  friends,  and  heard  half- 
whispered  praises  of  his  child-wife.  For  Marian  there  was  a 
constant  round  of  excitement.  Gayety  abroad,  and  unwearied 
affection  when  alone  with  Louis.  She  was  rejoiced  in  her 
beauty  now  for  the  first  time ;  but  it  was  because  his  wife  pos- 
sessed it. 

There  was  but  one  jarring  thrill  to  the  harmony  of  Mr.  Mus- 
grave's  enjoyment.  He  had  overheard  a  careless  gossip  upon 
their  respective  ages,  and  for  the  first  time  remembered  that  he 
was  no  longer  in  early  manhood.  He  wondered  if  Marian  had 


ever  thought  of  this,  and  he  glanced  into  the  future  and  saw  that 
she  would  be  in  the  prune  of  life,  while  he  descended  in  the 
vale  of  years.  But  he  did  not  dwell  on  this ;  it  did  not  recur  to 
him  again. 

"  Dear,  delightful  Washington,  how  I  shall  wish  for  you,  and 
to  fly  back  again ! "  said  Marian,  as  they  drew  near  Maple  Grove, 
when  that  festive  month  had  passed. 

"  But  you  are  going  to  my  home  now,  dear  child ;  will  you 
not  try  to  be  happy  there  ? " 

"  Oh  yes,  I  know  I  shall  be  very,  very  happy.  Tell  me  all 
about  your  sisters  now — I  shall  see  them  so  soon." 

Mr.  Musgrave  wrapped  the  fur-lined  mantle  still  closer  about 
her,  and  began,  for  the  thirtieth  time,  to  describe  Maple  Grove 
and  its  inhabitants. 

It  was  the  twilight  of  a  dreary  winter's  day  when  they  entered 
the  grounds,  and  drove  rapidly  towards  the  homestead  of  which 
she  had  heard  so  much.  Marian  looked  out  from  the  carnage 
window  eagerly;  but  there  was  little  to  be  seen  except  leafless 
trees  and  delicate  shrubs  carefully  covered  from  the  cold.  The 
sky  was  dark  and  leaden,  and  whether  it  was  that  or  the  chilly 
atmosphere,  Marian's  gayety  was  very  much  subdued  by  the  tune 
she  was  lifted  out,  as  if  she  had  been  indeed  a  child,  upon  the  broad 
piazza  that  stretched  across  the  front  of  the  mansion.  She  was 
weary,  in  truth,  and  fearful  for  the  first  time  of  meeting  her  new 
sisters.  Louis  was  never  weary  of  dwelling  on  Miss  Musgrave's 
benevolence  and  Miss  Margaret's  sterling  good  sense ;  but  they 
were  so  much  older  and  wiser,  and,  above  all,  so  stately,  that 
when  they  came  into  the  hall  to  welcome  her,  she  shrank  with 
instinctive  timidity  from  the  formal  kisses  by  which  she  was 


Nor  was  this  lessened  when,  after  their  wrappers  had  been  re- 
moved, they  sat  in  a  stiff  circle  around  the  blazing  fire,  and  Miss 
Margaret  inquired  the  roads,  and  Miss  Musgrave  predicted  snow 
before  morning.  How  Marian  longed  to  take  the  cushions  from 
the  old-fashioned  fauteuil  in  the  corner,  and  seat  herself  on  the 
floor  at  her  husband's  feet,  as  she  so  often  had  done  !  She  would 
as  soon  have  thought  of  throwing  her  arms  about  Miss  Mus- 
grave's  neck,  or  doing  any  other  equal  act  of  insanity,  as  to 
claim  her  "  old  accustomed  place"  now.  Yet  she  could  not 
exactly  tell  what  restrained  her ;  perhaps  it  was  the  change  which 
seemed  to  pass  over  Louis  himself  in  that  chilling  atmosphere ; 
let  the  cause  be  what  it  might,  the  poor  little  lady  sat  there  bolt 
upright,  and  growing  more  weary,  and  silent,  and  stupid,  every 
moment.  Home-sickness  —  it  was  the  first  real  pang  she  had 
found  leisure  to  feel  since  her  marriage — was  added  to  her  un- 
happiness.  This  was  her  home  now,  it  is  true,  but  how  unlike 
the  cosy  little  parlour  at  the  cottage ;  and  her  mother's  gentle 
smile  would  come  side  by  side,  and  in  sad  contrast  to  Miss  Mar- 
garet's immovable  face,  as  often  as  she  looked  up.  Where,  too, 
was  the  patter  of  little  feet,  the  sweet  murmur  of  children's 
voices  ?  She  wondered  what  Willie,  and  Etta,  and  Harry  were 
doing  now! 

Supper  was  announced.  Oh,  what  a  relief  it  was !  and  she 
forgot  the  awful  presence  of  her  new  sisters  for  a  moment,  and 
sprang,  as  she  was  wont,  to  the  side  of  Louis.  But  she  was  re- 
called to  the  present  by  the  look,  almost  of  reproof,  which  she 
met ;  and,  sad  and  blushing,  she  walked  demurely  to  the  dining- 
room.  Here,  too,  she  was  reminded  that  this  was  not  her  home. 
The  cheerful  chitchat  of  their  own  tea-table  was  exchanged  for 
dull  monosyllables ;  for  Miss  Musgrave  never  conversed  familiarly 

300  THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS. 

in  the  presence  of  servants ;  and  a  waiter,  who  had  grown  old  in 
the  family  service,  stood  as  stiif  and  upright  as  the  ladies  them- 
selves, behind  his  master's  chair. 

Marian  was  placed  near  Louis,  and  Miss  Musgrave  took  the 
head  of  the  table.  Her  brother  saw  the  reserve  that  was  creep- 
ing over  the  party,  and  tried  to  throw  it  off  by  cheerful  conver- 
sation. But  he  met  with  no  response ;  for  Miss  Margaret  was 
naturally  taciturn,  and  Marian  was  too  sad  to  respond.  Besides, 
she  did  not  feel  at  ease  with  Miss  Musgrave's  constant  anxiety 
lest  she  should  not  be  well  served. 

She  begged  to  be  shown  to  her  room  at  once,  as  they  rose  from 
the  table,  and  Miss  Margaret  led  the  way.  Everything  there 
had  been  arranged  by  that  lady  herself,  with  an  eye  more  to 
utility  than  taste.  But  there  was  an  evident  desire  to  make  her 
comfortable,  and  Marian  could  have  thrown  her  arms  about  Miss 
Margaret  and  kissed  her  good-night  as  she  withdrew,  in  the  full- 
ness of  her  lonely,  grateful  little  heart.  But  one  glance  at  the 
scrupulously  smooth  collar  and  unvarying  face  subdued  the  rash 

To  tell  the  truth,  both  ladies  were  colder  and  more  reserved 
than  usual,  or  than  they  had  intended  to  be.  They  had,  in  the 
first  place,  considered  themselves  very  much  aggrieved  when 
their  brother  announced  his  intention  of  marrying.  He  had 
devoted  himself  to  them  so  long,  and  they  had  reigned  supreme 
in  his  house  so  many  years,  that  it  seemed  positively  unkind  in 
him  to  bring  home  a  new  mistress  to  Maple  Grove.  Moreover, 
it  was  a  fresh  offence  that  he  should  marry  one  so  young  and 
girlish  as  they  found  his  bride  to  be.  It  was  impossible  for  them 
to  yield  up  authority  to  such  a  mere  child.  In  justice  to  these 
excellent  women,  we  must  say  that  they  were  not  conscious  of 


these  emotions,  or  how  far  they  had  influenced  their  reception 
of  the  young  stranger.  Miss  Margaret  thought — "Well,  this 
is  a  pretty  little  creature,"  as  she  returned  to  the  parlour,  where 
her  brother  and  Miss  Musgrave  were  seated  in  an  animated  dis- 

"  She  is  not  herself  to-night  at  all,  sister,"  said  he,  as  if  they 
had  been  speaking  of  Marian ;  "  and  since  you  make  such  a  point 
of  it,  you  had  better  retain  your  usual  seat  at  the  table.  I  do 
not  think  Mrs.  Musgrave  would  have  the  least  objection ; "  and 
then  they  began  talking  about  the  estate,  and  other  changes  in 
the  neighbourhood,  during  his  absence. 

Poor  little  Marian,  meanwhile,  had  dismissed  her  attendant, 
and  throwing  herself  upon  the  hearth-rug,  like  a  child,  as  she 
was,  looked  around  the  room.  It  was  like  the  rest  of  the  house 
— large,  and  heavily  furnished  with  high  antique  wardrobes,  and 
dark  mahogany  chairs  it  would  have  tested  her  strength  to  move. 
The  fire  had  burned  low,  and  shed  a  flickering,  unsteady  glare 
over  all ;  and  she  could  hear  the  wind  sighing  and  moaning  with 
the  rising  storm,  and  the  leafless  branches  of  the  shade-trees 
strike  against  the  windows.  The  very  bed  itself  had  a  gloomy 
look — it  was  high,  and  canopied  by  crimson  curtains,  that  looked 
black  in  the  gloom  of  the  apartment,  and  contrasted  disagreeably 
with  the  snow-white  pillows  and  counterpanes. 

She  sat  there  a  long  time,  thridding  her  hands  through  the 
mass  of  her  unbraided  hair,  which  fell  about  her. 

"  Showered  in  rippled  ringlets  to  her  knee," 

and  thinking  about  many  things  that  had  never  intruded  them- 
selves before.     At  last  she  rose   and  moved  slowly  across  the 
room,  almost  startled  at  the  rustling  her  own  movements  caused, 



and  laid  her  head  down  upon  one  of  those  snowy  pillows,  listen- 
ing eagerly  for  her  husband's  footsteps  in  the  echoing  hall.  But 
he  came  not;  and,  weary  and  lonely,  she  could  restrain  her  tears 
no  longer.  Marian  had  not  expected  to  sob  herself  to  sleep  the 
first  night  in  her  new  home  ;  but  so  it  was,  for  the  shadows  on 
the  wall^twined  themselves  in  more  fantastic  shapes,  and  the 
dismal  sounds  without  grew  fainter  and  fainter,  till  she  slept 

"Nestling  among  the  pillows  soft, 

A  dove,  o'erwearied  with  its  flight." 


"  A  deep  and  a  mighty  shadow 
Across  my  heart  is  thrown, 
Like  a  cloud  on  a  summer  meadow 

Where  the  thunder-wind  hath  blown ! 
The  wild  rose  Fancy,  dieth — 
The  sweet  bird  Memory,  flieth, 
And  leaveth  me  alone." 


HE  room  did  not  look  so  gloomy  in  the  morning 
light;  and  the  snow,  which  had  fallen  silently  for 
many  hours,  shrouded  the  surrounding  landscape  in 
a  pure  drapery,  that  gave  a  peculiar  beauty  to  the 
scene  without.  Moreover,  Louis,  removed  from  the  immediate 
presence  of  Miss  Margaret,  was  just  as  she  had  first  known  him, 
and  laughed  pleasantly  when  Marian  told  him  of  her  last  night's 
awe  of  that  good  lady.  They  went  down  to  breakfast  in  the 


best  possible  temper  with  each,  other  and  the  world,  and  Marian's 
cheerful  gavety  seemed  to  infect  the  whole  houshold. 

"  You  '11  not  mind  if  my  sister  keeps  her  old  place,  will  you, 
little  one  ?"  said  Louis,  as  they  passed  through  the  hall.  "  You 
are  hardly  dignified  enough  as  yet  to  take  the  head  of  a  table; 
and  Caroline  would  be  quite  out  of  her  element,  if  not  seated 
behind  the  urn." 

"  Certainly,"  said  Marian,  promptly,  as  she  entered  the  room 
and  saw  Miss  Musgrave  already  installed  as  mistress  of  the  house- 
hold. It  did  occur  to  her  that  she  might  have  been  allowed  to 
decline  the  post.  However,  etiquette  troubled  Marian  very  little, 
though  she  sighed  as  all  her  old  visions  vanished — little  home 
pictures  which  she  had  drawn,  when  Louis  was  to  receive  his 
coffee  from  her  own  hands,  and  chat  in  the  most  sociable  manner 
possible  over  newspapers. 

She  began  to  feel  more  at  ease  as  the  morning  came  on ;  and 
when  Louis  had  finished  some  business  which  awaited  him,  they 
rambled  over  the  house  together.  His  study  occupied  the  west- 
ern wing,  and  connected  with  it  was  a  little  room  opening  with  a 
French  window  into  the  garden ;  and  this  had  been  fitted  up  as 
the  especial  retreat  of  Marian.  The  furniture  of  the  rest  of  the 
house  had  been  unchanged ;  but  this  boudoir  had  many  modern 
elegancies  that  made  it  seem  a  perfect  paradise  to  our  little  heroine. 
A.nd  here  she  could  sit,  and  sew  or  read,  and  watch  Louis  at  his 
books  through  the  open  door.  She  should  never  feel  alone — and 
she  sat  down  directly  to  write  a  long  letter  to  her  mother,  in 
which  she  described  the  stately  beauty  of  her  new  home,  and 
gave  a  glowing  description  of  her  boudoir,  from  the  delicate  cur- 
tiiins  to  the  pretty  inlaid  desk  she  was  writing  upon.  She  did 
not  say  much  about  Miss  Margaret,  and  mentioned  that  Miss 

304  THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS. 

Musgrave   had   kindly  relieved   her   of  all  trouble   in   house- 

And  this,  in  truth,  she  did.  Marian  soon  found  that  she  was 
never  even  to  be  consulted  in  any  home  arrangements.  The 
little  instance  of  taking,  without  a  question,  the  head  of  the  table 
was  a  specimen,  or  key-note,  of  scenes  that  were  daily  enacted. 
To  be  sure,  the  little  wife  resigned  all  claims  cheerfully ;  but  she 
did  not  like  being  treated  quite  so  much  like  a  child. 

There  was  a  fresh  source  of  annoyance  for  poor  Marian.  Visi- 
tors were  daily  announced,  whose  calls  of  congratulation  were  in 
reality  calls  of  curiosity ;  and  she  was  obliged  to  be  introduced 
to  people  that  she  felt  cared  nothing  for  her,  and  new  relations, 
who  criticised  her  almost  before  she  was  out  of  hearing.  We  do 
not  mean  to  say  that  the  people  of  Moorville,  the  little  town  upon 
which  the  grounds  of  Maple  Grove  bordered,  were  absolutely 
ill-natured  and  rude ;  but  it  was  natural,  when  the  eligible  of  the 
neighbourhood  had  brought  home  a  wife  from  a  distance,  that 
those  ladies  who  considered  themselves  ill-used  by  it,  and  their 
friends  and  acquaintances,  should  try  to  discover  some  flaw  in  the 
precious  piece  of  porcelain  thus  elevated  to  a  niche  they  had  in 
imagination  seen  destined  for  themselves. 

Always  restrained  by  the  presence  of  one  of  her  sisters,  Marian 
never  appeared  in  a  natural  light.  A  stranger  in  her  own  house- 
hold, she  scarce  dared  to  offer  a  return  of  the  civilities  extended 
to  her;  and  thus  her  timidity  was  misinterpreted,  and  she  was 
called  haughty  and  disagreeable — grave,  with  which  she 
did  not  dream  she  was  charged.  Hers  was  not  a  solitary  instance. 
Let  any  of  my  lady  friends,  who  have  gone  through  the  ordeal 
of  an  introduction  to  a  family  of  new  relations,  and  a  new  circle 
of  acquaintances,  ask  themselves  if  they  cannot  remember  many 


hours  of  bitterness,  when  they  felt  themselves  misinterpreted ; 
and  would  have  given  worlds  for  the  sight  of  an  old  familiar 
face,  or  the  tone  of  one  in  whose  regard  they  felt  secure.  It  is 
not  the  least  trial  in  the  first  year  of  married  life. 

At  such  times,  Marian  would  retreat  to  her  own  little  room, 
and  give  vent  to  her  excited  feelings  in  a  hearty  "school-girl 
cry ;"  and  although  Louis  soothed  her  gently  when  he  first  found 
her  thus,  he  chicled  her  on  a  second  offence,  and  was  even  be- 
trayed into  harshness,  when  he  found  these  scenes  were  of  fre- 
quent repetition.  He  called  it  "  childishness,"  and  said  she  must 
gain  more  self-control. 

Poor  little  bride  !  she  often  sobbed  herself  to  sleep  now,  for 
Miss  Margaret  had  also  taken  upon  herself  to  give  her  a  lecture 
occasionally,  and  Miss  Musgrave's  looks  were  enough  to  chill  her 
at  any  time.-  Yet  the  sisters  thought  they  were  doing  it  all  for 
her.  good — she  must  be  fashioned  after  their  own  model,  to  meet 
then*  unqualified  approbation.  The  silver  birch  might  be  trained 
upward  to  the  stiff  formality  of  the  poplar  as  well ! 

When  they  came  to  return  the  round  of  bridal  visits,  and  to 
mingle  in  the  festivities  of  the  neighbourhood,  it  was  still  worse. 
Fresh  froln  the  gaiety  and  adulation  of  the  most  brilliant  circle 
of  our  land,  she  entered  into  the  mirth  and  joyousness  of  the 
younger  people  without  a  scruple.  She  laughed  and  chatted  with 
the  young  men,  and  they  pronounced  her  charming ;  the  young 
ladies  borrowed  her  capes  and  her  dresses — she  was  becoming  a 
favourite  with  them,  and,  surrounded  by  more  congenial  spirits, 
the  natural  gaiety  and  affability  of  her  character  were  unrestrained. 
At  first,  Louis  stood  by,  as  he  had  done  at  Washington,  and 
enjoyed  the  admiration  which  she  excited;  but  the  difference  in 
their  ages,  frequently  commented  on,  intruded  itself  by  degrees, 

306  THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALb. 

and  he  grew  almost  angry  with  Marian  for  the  very  childishness 
that  had  won  him.  It  was  well  enough,  perhaps,  in  Marian 
Cleveland ;  but  Mrs.  Musgrave  must  not  bring  upon  herself  the 
reputation  of  being  a  flirt.  No  one  but  himself — the  wiseacre — 
would  have  dreamed  of  giving  it  to  her. 

There  was  a  long  consultation  with  Miss  Caroline,  one  morn- 
ing, and  Marian  sat  alone  in  her  boudoir,  dreading  instinctively 
its  results.  Miss  Musgrave  and  Miss  Margaret  did  not  hesitate 
to  complain  to  their  brother,  now,  whenever  she  did  anything 
that  offended  their  ideas  of  propriety ;  and  Marian  knew  that  so 
long  and  so  serious  a  conversation  could  be  nothing  but  a  rehearsal 
of  some  fearful  misdeed  on  her  part. 

She  held  some  work  in  her  hand,  but  she  was  not  thinking  of 
it,  nor  of  the  bright  spring  sunshine  that  looked  in  from  the  gar- 
den, as  if  to  comfort  her.  She  had  been  married  four  months, 
now,  and  had  already  seen  many 

"  Darling  visions  die ;" 

and  began  to  ask  herself  if  she  was  as  happy  as  she  had  expected 
to  be.  A  sure  sign  that  people  suspect  all  is  not  right,  when 
they  find  leisure  to  ask  such  questions  of  themselves.  "  I  should 
be  happy — yes,  I  ought  to  be  very  happy — only  somehow  Miss 
Musgrave  will  spoil  it  all.  I  wonder  they  never  found  out  at 
home  I  was  such  a  very  bad  girl.  I  don't  think  Louis  would 
have  discerned  it,  if  he  had  not  put  on  her  spectacles.  I  wish 
they  would  let  me  go  home  and  pay  a  visit,  or  ask  mamma  hero, 
or  let  Etta  come  for  a  few  weeks.  July  is  a  great  while  to  wait 
before  I  see  any  of  them  !  I  wonder  if  they  miss  me  T"  —  and 
then  a  deep  sigh,  that  fairly  startled  her  Canary  upon  its  perch, 
so  long,  so  deep  was  it — finished  the  sentence. 

"  Maple  grove  is  very  grand,  to  be  sure ;  but  then  it 's  nothing 

THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS.  307 

to  me,  though  it  does  belong  to  Louis."  So  Marian's  thoughts 
ran  on.  "  And  the  house,  it  is  large  and  fine,  and  all  that;  but 
there 's  not  a  room  in  it  that  I  should  like  to  pass  through  alone 
after  dark,  except  this ;  and  I  am  expecting  every  day  that  Miss 
Musgrave  will  need  it  for  a  china-closet  or  store-room.  I  wonder 
what  I  have  been  doing  now  to  displease  her.  Oh,  I  know;  it 
must  have  been  asking  Annie  Lane  to  drive  out  with  me  to-mor- 
row. Of  course,  she  wants  the  horses  herself — she  always  does, 

when  I  want  to  go  anywhere " 

And  here  the  meditation  was  interrupted  by  Louis  himself, 
who  entered  the  room  hastily,  and  with  the  air  of  a  man  who 
considers  himself  deeply  aggrieved. 

"  Mrs.  Musgrave,"  said  he,  abruptly  —  oh,  where  were  the 
thousand  pet  names  she  had  so  loved  ?  He  had  never  called  her 
Mrs.  Musgrave  when  they  were  alone  before. 

Marian  was  in  no  mood  to  take  fault-finding  patiently  just  then, 
particularly  as  she  felt  it  to  be  undeserved.  She  did  not  answer, 
when  Louis  told  her  that  he  entirely  disapproved  of  her  growing 
intimacy  with  Miss  Lane,  whom  he  considered  a  frivolous  senti- 
mental girl ;  and,  moreover,  he  could  not  and  would  not  allow 
his  wife  to  exhibit  herself,  as  she  had  done  the  evening  before, 
in  dancing  the  polka  with  George  Lane  —  the  young  lieutenant 
now  home  on  furlough.  Her  waltzing  he  had  endured,  for  there 
were  many  ladies  whose  sense  of  decorum  allowed  them  to  sin 
against  propriety  in  the  like  manner ;  but  as  for  the  polka,  he 
had  never  liked  it  at  Washington,  and  was  utterly  amazed,  and 
pained,  and  shocked,  to  see  her  attempt  to  introduce  it  in  this 
unsophisticated  country  town. 

Marian  attempted  to  reply,  but  Louis  had  now  worked  himself 
to  a  pitch  of  injured  innocence  that  allowed  of  no  extenuations. 

308  THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS. 

And  then  she  grew  sulky,  and  finally  a  feeling  of  anger,  more 
against  his  sister,  than  Louis,  flashed  from  her  beautiful  eyes,  and 
burned  in  her  pulses.  Miss  Musgrave  was  at  the  bottom  of  all 
this,  no  doubt ;  but  why  did  Louis  suffer  himself  to  be  so  blinded 
by  her  ?  Where  was  the  confidence  that  had  once  existed  be 
tween  tljem — the  unusual  tenderness  which  had  marked  his  love 
when  she  first  came  to  find  a  home  at  Maple  Grove  ? 

"  Home  ! "  Marian  echoed  the  word  bitterly.  And  then  an 
evil  demon  whispered  a  mad  response  to  this  injustice ;  and,  as 
it  flashed  to  her  mind,  she  said,  while  Louis  turned  on  his  heel, 
evidently  thinking  her  properly  punished  and  subdued — 

"  A  thousand  thanks  for  your  kind  care,  sir.  But  I  beg  to  be 
allowed  to  ride  and  dance  with  whom  I  choose,  unless  Miss  Mus- 
grave will  designate  whom  she  does  consider  fit  companions  for 

Could  he  believe  his  own  senses !  Mr.  Musgrave  stood  still 
in  the  library  door,  transfixed — like  one  of  the  marble  busts  which 
adorned  it.  Did  those  angry,  wilful  words  come  choking  forth 
from  the  lips  of  his  gentle  wife,  who  had  never  even  expostulated 
before  ?  Could  that  be  Marian,  who  stood  before  him  so  reso- 
lutely, with  a  flushed  cheek  and  flashing  eyes  ?  What  had 
wrought  the  transformation  ?  How  had  he  been  so  deceived  in 
one  he  had  considered  the  soul  of  gentleness  and  truth  ? 

He  turned  without  a  word,  and  the  library  door  fell  to  with 
a  clang  that  rang  along  the  halls  in  dreary  echoes.  It  was  the 
first  time  it  had  been  closed  between  them. 

Marian  thought  of  this,  and  the  sound  came  to  her  like  an 
omen  of  future  discord  and  estrangement.  She  was  calmer  now, 
and  had  leisure  to  tremble  at  her  own  daring,  unwifely  words. 
Her  first  impulse  was  to  fly  to  him,  to  fall  at  his  feet  and  entreat 


pardon.  But  she  hesitated,  while  her  hand  was  on  the  door,  and 
a  colder,  sterner  feeling  took  possession  of  her.  "  He  taunted 
me,"  she  thought,  bitterly.  "  It  is  he  'who  should  sue  for  pardon" 
—  and  then  she  sat  down  to  her  work  again,  though  her  hands 
trembled  violently,  and  indulged  in  bitter  reverie.  She  felt  her 
heart  grow  colder  and  heavier  as  she  sat  there,  and  she  wondered 
at  the  change  which  had  filled  it  with  wicked  promptings.  Alas, 
for  Marian,  that  the  good  spirit  was  resisted  in  its  first  whisper- 
ing ;  she  had  yielded  herself  one  moment  to  a  darker  guide,  and 
the  chains  of  error  were  fast  being  riveted  upon  her. 

Louis  Musgrave  buried  his  face  in  his  hands,  and  sat  for  a 
long  time  without  moving.  Two  miserable  hearts  were  beating 
very  near  each  other,  and  there  was  a  veil  between  them  for  .the 
first  time.  He  too  was  prompted  at  first  to  explain,  at  least  — 
he  could  not  see  that  any  apology  was  due  from  him ;  and  then 
pride  came  and  took  the  place  of  regret,  and,  in  the  guise  of  rea- 
son, taunted  him  with  a  foolish  marriage. 

"At  your  time  of  life,"  said  the  tempter,  "when  you  might 
have  married  any  lady  you  had  chosen,  to  select  an  unformed, 
frivolous  child,  without  intellectual  sympathy !  and,  after  you 
had  raised  her  from  comparative  obscurity,  and  endowed  her  with 
your  name  and  fortune,  she  revolts  from  your  proper  and  lawful 
authority,  and  this  is  your  reward.  Suffer  now,  for  you  have 
brought  it  upon  yourself;  but  do  not  sue  for  reconciliation — that 
is  her  part." 

Even  Miss  Musgrave  was  satisfied  with  the  cold  dignity  of 
Marian's  manner,  when  they  met  at  the  dinner-table,  and  she 
congratulated  herself  on  the  timely  rebuke  administered  by  Louis 
at  her  suggestion.  And  Mr.  Musgrave  was  startled  at  the  change 
a  few  hours  had  wrought ;  for  a  wounded  spirit  had  shadowed 


that  sunny  face  with  the  thoughtfulness  of  a  sorrowing  woman- 
hood. Marian  was,  in  truth,  a  child  no  longer ;  and  "  woe  to  him 
by  whom  the  offence  came." 


Experience,  like  a  pale  musician,  holds 
A  dulcimer  of  patience  in  bis  hand ; 
Whence  harmonies  we  cannot  understand, 
Of  God's  will  in  his  worlds,  the  strain  unfolds, 
In  sad,  perplexed  minors. 


TINE  warmth  and  brightness  had  come  to  the  grounds 
of  Maple  Grove,  covering  the  trees  with  a  cloud  of 
>/„    fresh  foliage,  and  waking  to  life  a  thousand  lovely 

flowers  beneath  their  shade. 
Rose  trees  bent  to  the  earth  with  their  wealth  of  glowing 
blossoms,  and  clumps  of  the  flowering  almond  and  sweet  syringa 
sent  forth  delicate  perfumes  to  mingle  with  the  breath  of  the 
eglantine.  Birds  sang  in  their  leafy  coverts,  and  butterflies  were 
flitting  from  spray  to  spray ; — heavy,  indeed,  must  be  the  heart 
that  could  not  be  happy  amid  these  influences ;  yet  the  rightful 
mistress  of  this  stately  home  longed  to  exchange  it  for  a  little 
cottage  far  away,  where  a  few  spring  blossoms  were  blooming 
brightly  in  the  humble  garden  walks.  She  sat  by  the  low, 
French  window,  thrown  open  now  to  the  breeze  and  the  sunshine, 
and  wondered  where  her  light-heartedness,  which  had  made  spring 
the  loveliest  season  of  the  year,  had  flown.  Her  face  was  far 
paler  now  than  when  we  first  met  her,  and  the  joyous  smile  which 
had  then  "  hidden  in  her  eyes,"  was  gone  with  the  light  heart. 


She  had  commenced  to  think,  to  reason,  to  suffer,  now.  Exist- 
ence was  no  longer  the  illusion  it  had  once  been  :  it  had  assumed 
a  meaning  and  a  purpose.  She  had  been  driven  to  books,  as  the 
companions  of  the  many  solitary  hours  she  had  passed  of  late, 
and  they  had  taught  her,  and  her  own  restlessness  and  unhappi- 
ness  had  taught  her,  that  there  was  an  error  in  her  life  that  had 
ruined  all  her  peace.  At  times  she  was  gay,  gayer  than  ever ; 
a  mad,  reckless  volatility  of  word  and  action,  that  startled  Louis, 
and  offended  his  sisters.  And  then  days  would  pass,  with  but 
ordinary  civility  interchanged  between  that  divided  household, 
and  Marian  spent  them  in  bitter  weeping  and  self-upbraiding,  in 
her  own  little  room. 

The  library  door  had  never  been  unclosed  since  the  day  of 
their  first  strife ;  it  was  not  the  only  time,  alas,  that  bitter  words 
had  been  spoken  !  Marian  often  sat  near  it  for  hours,  listening 
to  every  movement  from  the  other  side,  and  longing  to  watch 
Louis,  as  of  old,  at  his  studies  there.  But  he  was  cold  and 
proud,  and  she  had  watched  every  glance  of  those  eyes  too  long 
not  to  see  it,  and  this  repelled  her  when  confession  and  repent- 
ance struggled  for  utterance. 

She  was  thinking  over  all  these  things  that  bright  morning, 
and  wondering  if  she  should  ever  be  happy  again.  But  she  was 
not  alone  now,  for  her  old  friend,  Mrs.  Lawton,  was  watching  her 
with  anxious,  pitying  gaze,  and  tears  that  came  unbidden,  as  she 
thought  of  the  change  a  few  months  had  wrought. 

They  had  not  spoken  of  it  during  Mrs.  Lawton's  brief  and 
unexpected  visit;  for  Marian's  pride  revolted  at  the  idea  of  con- 
fiding to  another  —  to  Laura  more  than  all  others  —  her  wrongs 
and  her  errors.  But  this  morning,  Laura  could  no  longer  forbear 
to  probe  the  wound  which  she  felt  was  undermining  health  and 


spirit,  and  she  did  it  delicately  and  tenderly.  And  then  what  a 
relief  it  was  to  Marian  to  tell  all !  How  she  had  been  misunder- 
stood, and  humbled,  and  treated  like  a  child.  That  Miss  Mus- 
grave  had  prejudiced  Louis,  and  he  would  not  ask  an  explanation 
or  receive  it,  but  only  blamed  her ;  and  for  the  very  things  he 
had  once  praised  and  encouraged.  It  was  very  hard !  And  then 
she  was  lonely,  for  Louis  could  not  always  be  with  her;  and  the 
friends  which  Miss  Musgrave  and  he  had  selected  for  her,  were 
sober,  married  ladies,  who  talked  about  housekeeping  and  man- 
aging children,  and  all  that.  How  could  she  be  interested  in 

Well,  she  had  chosen  some  acquaintances  for  herself,  and 
Miss  Musgrave  treated  them  rudely,  and  Louis  had  chided  her. 
Then  she  had  rebelled,  and  had  spoken  angrily  to  Louis,  and 
about  his  sisters,  too ;  and  she  had  resolved  to  be  governed  by 
them  no  longer.  "  Oh,  if  I  had  never  done  so ! "  murmured  the 
conscience-stricken  little  wife. 

"After  that,"  she  continued,  "I  danced  with  George  Lane 
more  than  ever;  but  Louis  did  not  attempt  to  interfere;  we  just 
let  each  other  all  alone — that  is,  Miss  Musgrave  and  Louis  never 
speak  to  me  when  they  can  help  it.  Miss  Margaret  is  kinder ; 
but  then  she  is  always  busy  helping  some  poor  or  sick  person, 
and  sometimes  she  is  gone  for  whole  weeks.  Then  it  is  dreadful 
here.  If  Louis  would  only  scold  me,  I  could  bear  it  better.  But 
no ;  he  is  so  polite  and  grave,  and  looks  at  me  so  coldly ;  and  I 
never  saw  any  thing  but  love  in  those  eyes  till  we  came  here." 

What  could  Laura  say  to  comfort  the  despairing  little  crea- 
ture, who  was  so  desolate  amid  all  this  luxury  and  beauty  ?  She 
saw  there  was  fault  on  both  sides;  and,  as  the  memory  of  her 
short  married  life  arose,  she  thanked  God  there  was  naught  like 


this  to  cloud  it.  Oh,  how  her  spirit  yearned  then,  as  it  often  did, 
for  the  beautiful  companionship  and  sympathy  she  had  then 
known,  and  she  trembled  lest  Marian  had  lost  it  too,  but  in  a 
living  death. 

"I  am  going  to-night,  Marian,"  she  said;  "and  I  feel  as  if 
Providence  had  sent  me  hither  to  be  a  mediator  between  you. 
What  has  been  the  extent  of  your  fault,  you  alone  can  tell ;  Mr. 
Musgrave  must  answer  to  his  own  heart.  Perhaps  he,  too,  has 
longed  in  secret  for  the  termination  of  this  unnatural  coldness. 
Is  not  your  duty  before  you,  as  a  wife,  to  confess  your  errors, 
even  though  pride  says  no  —  and  strive  henceforth  to  avoid  what 
you  know  displeases  him,  and  to  win  back,  even  at  the  sacrifice 
of  your  own  will  and  pleasure,  his  confidence  and  esteem  ?  Miss 
Musgrave  has  doubtless  been  acting  right  in  her  own  eyes;  but 
your  cheerful  and  patient  submission  to  her  whims  and  caprices 
cannot  fail  to  win  her  at  last.  She  is  much  older  than  you, 
recollect,  and  has  not  usurped  authority,  but  retained  it.  When 
you  have  shown  yourself  a  reasonable,  unselfish,  true-hearted 
woman,  your  part  will  have  been  accomplished ;  and  you  must 
trust  to  a  higher  power  that  all  will  be  well." 

Poor  Marian !  It  was  a  hard  task  set  before  her ;  and  at  first 
there  was  little  encouragement.  On  the  evening  of  Mrs.  Lawton's 
departure,  she  indulged  herself  with  giving  way  to  loneliness  she 
now  felt  more  keenly  for  the  pleasant  companionship  of  the  last 
few  days;  and  as  Louis  passed  near  her  window  as  night  came 
on,  he  saw  her  sitting  there  with  her  arms  about  Neptune's  neck, 
crying  most  bitterly.  It  was  a  sad  picture,  truly,  that  loving, 
affectionate  heart,  clinging  to  a  dog  in  very  loneliness,  and  the 
faithful  creature  looking  up  into  her  face  with  almost  human 
sympathy.  Once  it  would  have  moved  Louis;  but  now  he  only 


uttered  a  "pshaw,"  as  he  reproached  himself  with  having  mar- 
ried not  only  a  child,  but  a  baby.  His  unusual  sternness  checked 
the  confession  Marian  had  nerved  herself  to  make ;  and,  resolve 
as  she  would,  she  could  not  utter  it  when  the  time  had  once  passed. 

I  suppose  my  younger  and  more  romantic  readers  think  it 
would  have  been  much  better  if  Louis  had  gone  in  when  he  saw 
her  looking  sad,  and,  of  his  own  accord,  taken  her  in  his  arms 
and  comforted  her,  and  they  had  "made  up/'  as  the  children 
say,  and  been  happy  for  ever  after. 

Alas !  many  influences  sway  our  hearts  besides  the  spirit  of 
peace,  and  error  must  work  out  its  own  punishment. 

Marian  was  not  daunted  when  her  overtures  of  good-will  to 
Miss  Musgrave  were  at  first  coldly  received ;  for  she  knew  Laura 
had  spoken  the  truth,  and  she  had  resolved  to  do  rightly,  come 
what  would.  Mrs.  Lawton  often  wrote  to  her,  too,  words  of  en- 
couragement and  hope,  that  buoyed  up  her  fainting  spirit  when 
she  was  ready  to  despond,  and  she  had  won  a  reconciliation  with 
her  own  heart  at  least,  and  had  now  no  self-upbraidings  to  add 
to  her  sorrow.  She  was  surprised  to  find  what  genuine  happiness 
there  was  in  the  mere  fulfilment  of  daily  duty  and  self-conquest ; 
and  she  could  but  wonder  at  the  ease  with  which  she  gave  up 
her  long-promised  visit  home,  in  July,  when  some  business 
required  Mr.  Musgrave's  presence  in  a  different  direction. 

Indeed,  she  felt  quite  rewarded  for  it  by  the  kin,d  look  which 
Louis  gave  her  when  she  said,  pleasantly  —  "  I  suppose  I  must 
make  myself  contented  until  September,  then."  And  she  was 
almost  sure  he  would  have  said,, "Dear  child  I"  and  kissed  her 
as  of  old,  if  Miss  Musgrave  had  not  come  into  the  room  just  then. 

To  tell  the  truth,  Louis  had  'expected  a  burst  of  sobs  and 
lamentations,  for  he  well  knew  how  she  had  counted  the  days 

THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS.  315 

and  hours,  as  they  slipped  tardily  by,  and  had  looked  forward 
with  eager  anticipation  to  her  first  visit.  Moreover,  he  was  not 
insensible  to  the  change  which  the  last  few  weeks  had  wrought ; 
but  perhaps  "  patience  had  not  had  her  perfect  work ;"  for  while 
his  heart  warmed  toward  her,  his  sister's  entrance  put  all  these 
feelings  to  flight. 

And  now  Louis  was  gone,  and  Miss  Margaret  was  confined  to 
the  sofa  with  a  sprained  ankle ;  and  at  meal  times,  and  many 
hours  besides,  Marian  was  left  alone  with  the  awful  Miss  Mus- 
grave.  She  did  not  fly  to  her  room  as  she  had  done  the  instant 
dinner  was  over,  but  interested  herself  in  that  lady's  occupations, 
and  proffered  her  assistance  so  timidly,  yet  so  earnestly,  and 
laughed  so  heartily  at  her  many  mistakes,  and  received  their 
correction  with  so  much  sweetness,  that  before  Miss  Musgrave 
knew  it,  she  watched  for  the  graceful  little  form  to  come  flitting 
into  the  room,  and  really  felt  lonely  if  Marian  sat  by  herself  to 
read  or  write.  Miss  Margaret,  too,  became  loud  in  her  praise. 
She  had  never  found  leisure  before  to  study  the  character  of  our 
little  heroine  aright,  and  in  many  things  she  found  they  had 
wronged  her.  "  She  is  such  a  careful  nurse,"  said  Miss  Mar- 
garet, as  the  weeks  went  by.  "And  helped  me  about  those 
sweetmeats  this  morning  as  well  as  you  could  have  done,"  chimed 
in  her  sister.  "  And  reads  aloud  with  such  taste  and  expression," 
continued  the  invalid.  "  I  don't  think  she  has  seen  Anna  Lane 
for  a  fortnight,  or  asked  for  the  horses  once  when  I  happened  to 
want  them  since  Louis  has  been  gone.  Well,  she 's  a  dear  little 
thing,  after  all." 

Marian's  heart  would  have  beat  more  lightly  (if  that  were  pos- 
sible) could  she  have  heard  this  j  but  she  was  too  deeply  absorbed 
in  a  letter  just  at  that  moment  to  heed  even  her  own  praises.  It 


was  from  Louis,  and  announced  his  speedy  return.  Besides  this 
good  news  in  itself — for  she  had  begun  to  long  for  his  return, 
forgetful  of  past  unhappiness  — the  formal  "  My  dear  wife,"  he 
had  hitherto  used,  was  exchanged  for  "  My  bird,"  as  in  those 
days  of  happiness,  before  he  had  a  right  to  address  her  by  the 
first  title.  And  then  the  signature  was  as  affectionate  as  her 
heart  could  desire.  There  was  no  allusion  to  their  past  estrange- 
ment, it  is  true,  but  Marian  had  almost  forgotten  that. 

"  Is  n't  three  days  a  long  time  to  wait,  Miss  Margaret  ?  "  she 
said,  suddenly,  that  evening. 

The  sisters  smiled  to  each  other,  as  if  to  say,  "  How  she  loves 
him!"  and  Miss  Margaret  answered,  gently — 

"Why  not  call  me  sister,  Marian?" 

"May  I?  Oh,  thank  you!"  and  she  kissed  them  both 
heartily  as  she  bade  them  good-night;  though  she  could  but 
confess  that  she  liked  Miss  Margaret  much  the  best. 

How  pleasant  her  room  looked,  as  she  entered  it !  A  bright 
harvest  moon  silvered  the  dark  and  heavy  furniture,  and  "  slept 
on  the  inner  floor."  She  wondered  she  had  ever  thought  it 
gloomy,  and  how  it  had  happened  that  she  should  have  been  so 
unhappy  in  her  new  home,  where  every  one  was  so  kind  to  her. 
And  then  a  gush  of  thankfulness  filled  her  heart,  and  she  knelt, 
with  the  moonlight  surrounding  her  like  a  halo,  and,  with  hands 
clasped,  prayed  most  fervently,  giving  thanks  for  the  kind  coun- 
sel of  a  faithful  friend,  and  for  the  strength  that  had  supported 
her  in  her  self-conquest. 

Oh !  how  beautiful  every  thing  seemed  as  she  looked  forth 
again  upon  the  night !  for  her  spirit  was  in  harmony  with  itself, 
the  repose  of  earth,  and  with  its  Creator.  She  had  learned 
at  last  the  beautiful  lesson  of  Holy  Writ,  that  "tribula- 

THE    YOUNG    BRIDE'S    TRIALS.  317 

tion  worketh  patience,  and  patience  experience,  and  experience 

She  sat  there  for  a  long  time,  by  the  low  window  seat,  thinking 
every  moment  she  would  go  to  rest;  but  at  last  she  forgot  her 
resolution;  for  her  head  dropped  upon  the  window-ledge,  and 
she  slept. 

Ah,  what  a  dream  of  joy  !  Louis  had  returned,  she  thought, 
and  all  was  explained,  and  forgiven,  and  forgotten.  He  had 
taken  her  to  his  heart  again,  and  she  felt  his  kisses  upon  her 
forehead ;  and  there  came  something  like  a  pang  lest  she  should 
wake  too  soon.  No ;  she  could  not  wake  too  soon ;  for  she  found 
the  dream  reality.  Louis  bent  over  her  as  she  unclosed  her 
eyes,  and  before  she  could  realize  his  blessed  presence,  his  arms 
were  about  her,  and  she  felt  the  strong  throbbing  of  his  heart. 

Marian  could  not  have  spoken  if  life  —  nay,  more,  if  love  — 
had  demanded  it;  but  she  laid  her  head  upon  his  breast,  and 
looked  up  into  his  eyes  with  a  gaze  so  intense,  so  full  of  hope 
and  confidence,  that  no  words  were  needed. 

Louis  told  Laura,  herself,  long  afterwards,  when  he  found  to 
whom  he  was  indebted  for  that  hour  of  happiness,  the  workings 
of  his  heart  in  that  absence.  How  he  had  traced  back  each 
incident  of  his  married  life,  till  he  saw  how  hastily  and  unkindly 
he  had  acted.  That  he  had  allowed  the  opinions  of  others  to 
have  an  undue  influence  over  him,  instead  of  judging  Marian's 
actions  by  the  knowledge  of  her  character  which  he  alone  pos- 
sessed. Then  came  remorse  for  his  long  coldness,  and  tenderness 
when  he  thought  of  her  gentle  endeavours  to  please  them  all  for 
the  past  few  weeks ;  and  at  last  a  yearning  to  see  her,  that  had 
brought  him  home  ere  he  was  expected,  to  hear  her  praises  from 
his  sisters,  and  to  waken  her  with  a  kiss  of  reconciliation. 


How  fully  was  Marian  rewarded  for  its  delay,  by  the  happiness 
of  the  journey  which  they  made  together  to  the  scenes  of  their 
early  acquaintance,  and  how  often  she  congratulated  herself  that 
her  mother  had  never  been  a  witness  or  a  confidant  of  her  early 
unhappiness;  an  experience  which  she  had  ceased  to  regret,  for 
it  had  subdued  her  gayety  to  cheerfulness,  and  her  thoughtless- 
ness had  given  place  to  an  unselfish  care  for  the  happiness  of 

None  but  Mrs.  Lawton  ever  knew  how  nearly  shipwrecked 
had  been  the  happiness  of  the  now  united  family  at  Maple 
Grove ;  and  when  she  came  among  them,  a  favourite  and  warmly 
welcomed  visitor,  and  saw  how  this  union  was  daily  cemented  by 
mutual  acts  of  forbearance  and  consideration,  she  could  but  be 
grateful  that,  while  domestic  happiness  had  been  denied  to  her, 
she  had  aided  to  secure  it  to  one  so  well-beloved  as  her  friend, 


PART   I. 

The  hand  of  the  operator  wavered  —  the  instrument  glanced  aside  • 
in  a  moment  she  was  blind  for  life. — MS. 

BLIND,  said  you  ?    Blind  for  life  ? 
;Tis  but  a  jest — no — no  —  it  cannot  be 
That  I  no  more  the  blessed  light  may  see! 

Oh,  what  a  fearful  strife 
Of  horrid  thought  is  raging  in  my  mind! 
I  did  not  hear  aright  —  "for  ever  blind!" 

Mother,  you  would  not  speak 
Aught  but  the  truth  to  me,  your  stricken  child ; 
Tell  me  I  do  but  dream ;  my  brain  is  wild, 

And  yet  my  heart  is  weak. 
Oh,  mother,  fold  me  in  a  close  embrace, 
Bend  down  to  me  that  dear,  that  gentle  face. 

I  cannot  hear  your  voice! 
Speak  louder,  mother.     Speak  to  me,  and  say 
This  frightful  dream  will  quickly  pass  away. 

Have  I  no  hope,  no  choice? 
0  Heaven,  with  light,  has  sound,  too,  from  me  fled  ? 
Call,  shout  aloud,  as  if  to  wake  the  dead. 



Thank  God!  I  hear  you  now. 
I  hear  the  beating  of  your  troubled  heart, 
With  every  woe  of  mine  it  has  a  part; 

Upon  my  upturned  brow 
The  hot  tears  fall,  from  those  dear  eyes,  for  me. 
Once  more,  oh!  is  it  true  I  may  not  see? 

This  silence  chills  my  blood. 
Had  you  one  word  of  comfort,  all  my  fears 
Were  quickly  banished  —  faster  still  the  tears, 

A  bitter,  burning  flood, 

Fall  on  my  face,  and  now  one  trembling  word 
Confirms  the  dreadful  truth  my  ears  have  heard. 

Why  weep  you?     I  am  calm. 
My  wan  lip  quivers  not,  my  heart  is  still. 
My  swollen  temples  —  see,  they  do  not  thrill  I 

That  word  was  as  a  charm. 
Tell  me  the  worst;  all,  all  I  now  can  bear. 
I  have  a  fearful  strength  —  that  of  despair. 

What  is  it  to  be  blind? 
To  be  shut  out  for  ever  from  the  skies  — 
To  see  no  more  the  "light  of  loving  eyes" — 

And,  as  years  pass,  to  find 
My  lot  unvaried  by  one  passing  gleam 
Of  the  bright  woodland,  or  the  flashing  stream. 


To  feel  the  breath  of  Spring, 
Yet  not  to  view  one  of  the  tiny  flowers 
That  come  from  out  the  earth  with  her  soft  showers; 

To  hear  the  bright  birds  sing, 
And  feel,  while  listening  to  their  joyous  strain, 
My  heart  can  ne'er  know  happiness  again! 

Then  in  the  solemn  night 
To  lie  alone,  while  all  anear  me  sleep, 
And  fancy  fearful  forms  about  me  creep. 

Starting  in  wild  affright, 

To  know,  if  true,  I  could  not  have  the  power 
To  ward  off  danger  in  that  lonely  hour. 

And,  as  my  breath  came  thick, 
To  feel  the  hideous  darkness  round  me  press, 
Adding  new  terror  to  my  loneliness; 

While  every  pulse  leapt  quick 
To  clutch  and  grasp  at  the  black,  stifling  air, 
Then  sink  in  stupor  from  my  wild  despair. 

It  comes  upon  me  now ! 
I  cannot  breathe,  my  heart  grows  sick  and  chill; 
Oh,  mother,  are  your  arms  about  me  still  — 

Still  o'er  me  do  you  bow? 
And  yet  I  care  not,  better  all  alone, 
No  one  to  heed  my  weakness  should  I  moan. 


Again!     I  will  not  live. 
Death  is  no  worse  than  this  eternal  night  — 
Those  resting  in  the  grave  heed  not  the  light! 

Small  comfort  can  ye  give. 
Yes,  Death  is  welcome  as  my  only  friend  j 
In  the  calm  grave  my  sorrows  will  have  end. 

Talk  not  to  me  of  hope ! 
Have  you  not  told  me  it  is  all  in  vain  — 
That  while  I  live  I  may  not  see  again? 

That  earth,  and  the  broad  scope 
Of  the  blue  heaven  —  that  all  things  glad  and  free 
Henceforth  are  hidden  —  tell  of  hope  to  me  ? 

It  is  not  hard  to  lie 
Calmly  and  silently  in  that  long  sleep; 
No  fear  can  wake  me  from  that  slumber  deep. 

So,  mother  —  let  me  die; 
I  shall  be  happier  in  the  gentle  rest, 
Than  living  with  this  grief  to  fill  my  breast. 

BLIND!  323 

"  God  tempers  the  wind  to  the  shorn  lamb." 

Thank  God,  that  yet  I  live. 
In  tender  mercy,  heeding  not  the  prayer 
I  boldly  uttered,  in  my  first  despair, 

He  would  not  rashly  give 
The  punishment  an  erring  spirit  braved. 
From  sudden  death,  in  kindness  I  was  saved. 

It  was  a  fearful  thought 
That  this  fair  earth  had  not  one  pleasure  left. 
I  was  at  once  of  sight  and  hope  bereft. 

My  soul  was  not  yet  taught 
To  bow  submissive  to  the  sudden  stroke; 
Its  crushing  weight  my  heart  had  well-nigh  broke. 

Words  are  not  that  can  tell 
The  horrid  thoughts  that  burned  upon  ray  brain — 
That  came  and  went  with  madness  still  the  same — 

A  black  and  icy  spell 

That  froze  my  life-blood,  stopped  my  fluttering  breath, 
Was  laid  upon  me  —  even  "life  in  death." 

324  BLIND! 

Long  weary  months  crept  by, 
And  I  refused  all  comfort;  turned  aside, 
Wishing  that  in  my  weakness  I  had  died. 

I  uttered  no  reply, 

But  without  ceasing  wept,  and  moaned,  and  prayed 
The  hand  of  death  no  longer  might  be  stayed. 

I  shunned  the  gaze  of  all. 
I  knew  that  pity  dwelt  in  every  look. 
Pity  e'en  then  my  proud  breast  could  not  brook. 

Though  darkness  as  a  pall 
Circled  me  round,  each  mournful  eye  I  felt, 
That  for  a  moment  on  my  features  dwelt. 

You,  dearest  mother,  know 
I  shrank  in  sullenness  from  your  caress. 
Even  your  kisses  added  to  distress, 

For  burning  tears  would  flow 
As  you  bent  o'er  me,  whispering  "Be  calm, 
He  who  hath  wounded  holds  for  thee  a  balm." 

He  did  not  seem  a  friend. 
I  deemed  in  wrath  the  sudden  blow  was  sent 
From  a  strong  arm  that  never  might  relent. 

That  pain  alone  would  end 
With  life ;  for,  mother,  then  it  seemed  to  me, 
That  long,  and  dreamless,  would  death's  slumber  be. 

BLIND!  325 

That  blessed  illness  came. 
My  weakened  pulse  now  bounded  wild  and  strong, 
While  soon  a  raging  fever  burned  along 

My  worn,  exhausted  frame. 
And  for  the  time  all  knowledge  passed  away. 
It  mattered  not  that  hidden  was  the  day. 

The  odour  of  sweet  flowers 
Came  stealing  through  the  casement  when  I  woke ; 
When  the  wild  fever-spell  at  last  was  broke. 

And  yet  for  many  hours 
I  laid  in  dreamy  stillness,  till  your  tone 
Called  back  the  life  that  seemed  for  ever  flown. 

You,  mother,  knelt  in  prayer. 
While  one  dear  hand  was  resting  on  my  head, 
With  sobbing  voice,  how  fervently  you  plead 

For  a  strong  heart,  to  bear 
The  parting  which  you  feared  —  "  Or,  if  she  live, 
Comfort,  oh,  Father !  to  the  stricken  give. 

"  Take  from  her  wandering  mind 
The  heavy  load  which  it  so  long  hath  borne, 
Which  even  unto  death  her  frame  hath  worn. 

Let  her  in  mercy  find 
That  though  the  Earth  she  may  no  longer  see, 
Her  spirit  still  can  look  to  Heaven  and  Thee." 


326  BLIND'. 

A  low  sob  from  me  stole. 
A  moment  more  —  your  arms  about  me  wound — 
My  head  upon  your  breast  a  pillow  found. 

And  through  my  weary  soul 
A  holy  calm  came  stealing  from  on  high. 
Your  prayer  was  answered  —  I  was  not  to  die. 

Then  when  the  bell's  faint  chime 
Came  floating  gently  on  the  burdened  air, 
My  heart  went  up  to  God  in  fervent  prayer. 

And,  mother,  from  that  time 

My  wild  thoughts  left  me — hope  returned  once  more — 
I  felt  that  happiness  was  yet  in  store. 

Daily  new  strength  was  given. 
For  the  first  time,  since  darkness  on  me  fell, 
I  passed  with  more  of  joy  than  words  can  tell 

Under  the  free  blue  Heaven. 
I  bathed  my  brow  in  the  cool,  gushing  spring — 
How  much  of  life  those  bright  drops  seemed  to  bring. 

I  crushed  the  dewy  leaves 
Of  the  pale  violets,  and  drank  their  breath — 
Though  I  had  heard  that  at  each  floweret's  death 

A  sister  blossom  grieves. 
I  did  not  care  to  see  their  glorious  hues, 
Fearing  the  richer  perfume  I  might  lose. 

BLIND!  327 

Then  in  the  dim  old  wood 
I  laid  me  down  beneath  a  bending  tree, 
And  dreamed,  dear  mother,  waking  dreams  of  thee. 

I  thought  how  just  and  good 
The  power  that  had  so  gently  sealed  mine  eyes, 
Yet  bade  new  pleasures  and  new  hopes  arise. 

For  now  in  truth  I  find 
MY  FATHER  all  his  promises  hath  kept ; 
He  comforts  those  who  have  in  sadness  wept. 

"Eyes  to  the  blind" 
Thou  art,  0  God !    Earth  I  no  longer  see, 
Yet  trustfully  my  spirit  looks  to  thee. 

THE     END. 





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1609  TO  1680. 

EDITOR     OF     THE     "  REGISTER     OF     PENNSYLVANIA,"    AND    "  U.   8. 



One  handsome  volume,  8vo. 

This  work  furnishes  an  account  of  all  the  principal  events 
which  have  occurred  in  this  State,  arranged  in  chronological 
order ;  and  also  of  a  few  of  the  neighbouring  States,  so  far  as 
their  early  history  is  connected  with  Pennsylvania,  especially 
New  York,  New  Jersey,  Delaware,  Maryland,  and  Virginia. 
It  embraces  facts  connected  with  the  early  settlement  of  the 
country — Indian  wars  and  massacres — brief  biographical  no- 
tices of  men  who  have  occupied  prominent  places  as  early 
settlers,  statesmen,  or  in  the  scientific,  literary,  or  profes- 
sional walks  of  life — the  origin  and  progress  of  various  public 
institutions,  &c.  &c. 

Such  a  work  has  several  advantages  over  a  regular  History 
— as  it  furnishes  in  a  narrow  compass,  to  those  who  have  not 
much  time  to  devote  to  such  investigations,  the  material  facts 
embraced  in  a  great  variety  of  printed  and  manuscript  docu- 
ments, wholly  inaccessible  to  many,  and  accessible  to  none, 
without  much  research,  time,  and  even  expense.  The  author 
having  been  engaged  many  years  upon  it,  it  presents  a  valu- 
able record  of  perseverance,  industry,  great  research,  and 
historical  accuracy. 


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